After dominating the summer box office and breaking records with Barbie, Mattel is the latest brand trying to create a cinematic universe. After the immense success of the Margot Robbie led movie, it looks like Mattel is ready to become the newest IP-machine.

The company’s sales were down 12%, but Barbie has seen Mattel’s stock have a nearly 20% surge. It looks like Gerwig’s feminist twist on the iconic doll has helped it appeal to a whole new generation.

“The Barbie movie is a showcase for the cultural resonance of our IP,” said Ynon Kreiz, Mattel’s CEO and chairman. “This also speaks to the potential of Mattel Films and the significant progress of our strategy to capture the full value of our IP.”

Barbie may still be in the cinema, but the entertainment company has a huge number of projects in the works, all with A-list stars, directors and writers attached. It has been reported that 45 different films are set to be released including Mattel IP.


Before Barbie became a worldwide hit, we were all baffled when the purple dinosaur was announced to be inspiring a live-action movie. The Daniel Kaluuya-produced Barney the Dinosaur movie has been described as being an “adult”, “surrealistic” and “A24-type” film inspired by Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze.

The script is rumored to be written by Lee Sung Jin, known for Netflix’s Beef and who has previously been a writer on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Robbie Brenner, the Oscar-nominated producer who runs Mattel Films, has admitted to Variety that “any movie that has Barney is not certainly going to be straightforward.” The Barbie producer has compared the upcoming movie to Being John Malkovich and Adaptation before quipping: “We’re not making Ted. You know what I mean?”

The film exec has explained that the Barney movie will be all about “identity and finding who you love and who feels alienated” and “what does it all mean?” before adding that it will “be more adult and have adult themes — and sort of be a little bit off-kilter.”

Polly Pocket

Lena Dunham is set to write and direct Lily Collins as Polly Pocket. The popular 90s toy is set to be brought to life by the Girls creators and the Emily in Paris actress.

Described as a family comedy, Dunham has a personal reason for signing up. “Polly Pocket was responsible for countless hours of childhood escapism for me,” she said.

“As a child who was obsessed with Polly Pocket, this is a real dream come true and I can’t wait to bring these tiny toys to the big screen,” Lily captioned an Instagram post.

Robbie Brenner has confirmed that Collins and Dunham have collaborated on a “great” script together. “Lena is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen. She’s incredible. Lily is so smart and so specific and so productorial. It’s just been an incredible collaboration, so we are thrilled about it. Hopefully, we’ll be making that at some point in the future.”

Hot Wheels

J.J. Abrams is set to bring one of the best selling toys in the world to life. Producer Abrams has described the adaptation of the cars, monster trucks, and motorcycles as “grounded and gritty.”

Brenner has explained that the film has “real characters that you can relate to, that are three-dimensional, that have emotional journeys.”

The producer added, “Look at any J.J. Abrams movie. All of his movies have an incredible story and incredible characters. That was something that was important to him — to make a movie that’s not just going to be fun and exciting, but that has real emotion and real stakes to it.”

Abrams himself told the New Yorker, “For a long time, we were talking to Mattel about Hot Wheels, and we couldn’t quite find the thing that clicked, that made it worthy of what Hot Wheels – that title – deserved … Then we came up with something emotional and grounded and gritty.”

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

Vin Diesel is set to star in a film based on the battling tabletop robots. The screenplay is set to be penned by Rampage scribe Ryan Engle and will be based on the popular tabletop game which features two duelling robots boxers.

 “Vin is excited,” Brenner explained. “We’re working on developing a script and we’re all very excited about it.”

No other casting or plot news has been released about this film.

Magic 8 Ball

A film adaptation of the Magic 8 Ball is also in the works for Mattel. This movie has been in the works for years, with Blumhouse even attached to produce. Although the concept of an all-knowing ball seems prime for a horror, it will “probably be a PG-13 thriller,” according to Brenner.

The studio is determined to keep their content family friendly so this film “walks the line a little bit,” with Brenner adding, “we’re not going to make anything that feels violent, or that is alienating to families. We want to stay within the parameters of what Mattel is.”

Masters of the Universe

He-Man’s story has been in development for decades, but Mattel is hoping to jump onto Barbie’s international success. Netflix recently dropped the project after years of development hell. Insiders have said that close to $30 million has already been spent on development costs and talent.

It was previously announced that Kyle Allen would play the lead and the film would be directed by The Lost City’s Adam and Aaron Nee. It is currently not known who is producing the movie and who will direct or star.


The popular card game is somehow going to be turned into a film. During a recent interview with The New Yorker, the film’s original writer Marcy Kelly explained that the movie was originally conceived as a PG-13 heist movie.

In earl, 2021, Lil Yachty was linked to an Uno film reported to revolve around the Atlanta rap scene and a heist. It’s not been reported which direction the film is currently heading in.

Major Matt Mason

Tom Hanks is set to bring Major Matt Mason, an astronaut action figure, to life. He was introduced in 1967 and was popular until children began to lose interest in space exploration.

The 3D film was originally announced in 2011, co-written by Hanks and Graham Yost. Recent reports say Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and novelist Michael Chabon are set to write the film. It looks like the story about an astronaut who lives and works on the Moon has come back to life in a post-Barbie world.

Thomas & Friends

The World War Z and Quantum of Solace director, Marc Foster, is set to lens a fantasy film based on the children’s animated train series. The movie will be a “four-quadrant family adventure that blends live-action and animation” and will be told in a “modern and unexpected way.”

According to Forster, “Thomas has been a personal favorite of mine since childhood.” Although Thomas the Tank Engine was a long-running TV show, this is only the second time it has made it to the big screen.


Dumb & Dumber director, Peter Farrelly is set to produce Wishbone, a film about one of America’s most beloved Jack Russell terriers. Mattel and Universal are working together to reimagine the franchise, which originally aired as a TV show on PBS from 1996 through 2001.

The original Wishbone series starred a terrier who reenacted scenes from classic literature. The modern, family-friendly film will be written by Roy Parker. Don Quixote, Robin Hood and Joan of Arc are just some of the characters the little dog emulates.

American Girl

A family comedy is currently being developed by MGM about the dolls from various periods of time. There is currently no official announcement of any talent attached to the project, but Brenner promises “something great in the works.”


Mattel is working with Skydance Media to develop a live-action film based on the popular Matchbox vehicles toy line. Invented in 1953 as a series of die-cast car models, the line evolved to include action figures, models and collectables.

Little has been announced about this project asides from the fact it’s going to be “a story for the big screen.” The screenplay is set to be written by David Coggeshall, who wrote Orphan: First Kill.

View Master

Another of the more unusual IP Mattel is set to adapt. View Master is set to be turned into an adventure film. View Master is a stereoscopic eye device, which launched at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and became a childhood staple in the 1950s.

There is no writer or director attached nor any further details about the direction of the movie. The View Master was the original VR, showing 3D images of tourist attractions. After Mattel acquired the product, they expanded into audio, projection, and smartphone tech.

Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s motion picture group president, said, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Mattel to create a family adventure integrating the old school turn and click stereotypic device with the modern world of virtual reality.”

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