On Wednesday, Variety published an interview with Barbie executive producer and Mattel executive Robbie Brenner, who spoke to the status of 14 additional Mattel properties the company hopes to bring to movie theaters as followups to the Greta Gerwig–directed film’s success.
These projects were at various stages of development and pre-production before the ongoing writers and actors strikes halted development on most Hollywood productions.
Properties Mattel intends to one day bring to the big screen include American Girl, Magic 8 Ball, UNO, Wishbone, Thomas & Friends, and Masters of the Universe, among others, but one property — Polly Pocket — appears to be the closest to a fully realized project.
Lena Dunham is expected to direct a Polly Pocket movie from a script she also wrote, with Lily Collins set to star in the movie, based on Mattel’s group of miniature-sized dolls and accessories.
“First of all, they are two of my favorite ladies ever,” Brenner told the outlet of Collins, 34, and Dunham, 37. She described Dunham’s script for the movie as “great,” though she did not offer details on the storyline; Variety described it as a family comedy.
“It’s been an amazing collaboration. Lena is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen. She’s incredible,” Brenner added. “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.”
Other Mattel film projects with directors, actors or notable producers attached include the Daniel Kaluuya-led Barney movie, a Hot Wheels film produced by J.J. Abrams, a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots movie starring Vin Diesel, and a Major Matt Mason movie starring Tom Hanks.
Mattel executive Kevin McKeon previously described the Barney movie as “surrealistic” and said the film would “focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being 30-something, growing up with Barney — just the level of disenchantment within the generation.”
Kaluuya was attached to the project as a producer and actor prior to the actors’ strike; it is unclear what role he might play in a Barney film.
Though Gerwig herself indicated in a new interview with The New York Times that she is not currently considering making more Barbie films, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz told Variety the Barbie brand is “a very broad and very elastic brand, in terms of opportunities” for future projects.
“At the outset, we’re not saying, ‘Okay, let’s think already about movie two and three.’ Let’s get the first one right and make that a success,” Kreiz said. “And if you do that, opportunities open up very quickly, once you establish the first movie as a successful representation of a franchise on the big screen.”
Kreiz added in the interview that Mattel’s overall “ambition is to create film franchises.”