What's the story? Wishbone is getting a movie, that's the story. Mattel has partnered with Universal Pictures to bring the beloved Jack Russell Terrier to the big screen for the first time. What's more, Green Book director Peter Farrelly has been tapped to produce the project.
According to several reports, Wishbone will be a live-action movie described as a modern, family-friendly comedy. The movie will be based on the popular series of the same name, which originally aired on PBS from 1996 to 2001. There is no word currently on who will be tapped to direct. Roy Parker has been set to pen the screenplay. Lexi Barta, director of development, is set to oversee the movie for Universal. Robbie Brenner is executive producing. Brenner will be heading up the project for Mattel Films alongside supervising producer Kevin McKeon. Brenner had this to say in a statement.
"Our deep library of iconic franchises continues to offer cinematic storytelling opportunities. We're thrilled to be working with Peter Farrelly, Roy Parker and Universal to take the beloved dog classic into a new direction with a modern reimagination of the franchise."
Wishbone, the TV show, centered on a dog who brings classic literary tales to life, imagining himself as the live-action hero in each story. Some of the stories covered during the show's run included Romeo and Juliet, Frankenstein and Treasure Island. It hasn't been revealed what tales will be included in the movie. This marks the first collaboration between Mattel Films, which first launched in 2018, and Universal.
As for Peter Farrelly, he is known for his comedic exploits as a director alongside his brother, Bobby Farrelly. Some of their credits include Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary and Shalow Hal. Farrelly's Green Book became a huge commercial success and went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Farrelly most recently directed the series Loudermilk for Audience.
This comes as Mattel, like other toy companies, is looking to control its own destiny in Hollywood. Joining the likes of Hasbro and LEGO, Mattel has a number of projects in development at various studios since launching its movie division. Some of these include Masters of the Universe, Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie, a Hot Wheels movie and a live-action Barney movie. Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason and View-Master are other properties controlled by Mattel that are also being eyed for adaptations.
Wishbone only produced 50 episodes during its run, but it accomplished a lot in that time. The show won four Daytime Emmys, as well as a Peabody. It also inspired a series of books. There is no word currently on casting. It also isn't clear at this time how soon production could begin. Though it does seem to be in the relatively early stages of development. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety.