Mattel is partnering with 59% and Valparaiso Pictures to develop a live-action movie based on the purple dinosaur Barney. The Barney movie is the eighth film that Mattel has announced, joining “Barbie,” “Hot Wheels,” “Masters of the Universe,” “American Girl,” “View Master,” “Magic 8 Ball,” and “Major Matt Mason.”
According to the company, Mattel Films will co-produce “Barney” alongside Academy Award-nominee Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther), Rowan Riley and Amandla Crichlow at 59%, as well as Valparaiso’s David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, and Bobby Hoppey. Kevin McKeon will also shepherd the project for Mattel Films. “Barney” represents the first partnership between the production companies and Mattel Films.
“Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to ‘Barney’ that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations,” said Robbie Brenner, Mattel Films. “The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” said Daniel Kaluuya, 59%. “We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”
“Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination, and we can’t wait to get ‘I love you, you love me’ stuck in heads everywhere, yet again,” said David Carrico, Valparaiso Pictures.
Mattel didn’t announce a release window at this time, but more information will be announced when the film nears production. Mattel Films is a relatively new movie studio, created one year ago to bring the toy maker’s properties to the big screen. These adaptations can be hit-or-miss with audiences, as STX Entertainment learned when then studio lost money on the “Uglydolls” adaptation in 2019. That animated-comedy was designed to start a new franchise but stalled out the moment the film hit theaters.
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