Legendary Pictures Developing an Edgy ‘Hot Wheels’ Movie

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:51 pm,

hot wheels movie Legendary Pictures Developing an Edgy Hot Wheels Movie

This certainly isn’t going to ease concerns that Hollywood is running out of ideas. Studios have always preferred building their franchises around established brands rather than developing original material, so it’s no surprise that we’ve witnessed an exponential growth in the number of films based on preexisting material over the last several decades. Forgotten action figures, classic board games, old chewing gum wrappers… if it has name recognition, it’s a pretty safe bet that a producer has optioned it.

It might seem ridiculous, but thanks in no small part to the wildly successful Transformers series, there’s a particularly strong interest in crafting films based on popular toy properties – and Mattel’s Hot Wheels line has been one of the company’s most recognizable and resilient brands since its introduction in 1968.

Back in 2003, Columbia Pictures acquired the rights to make a live-action Hot Wheels feature film with McG attached to direct. Three years later, McG decided he was only interested in producing the film. The project never gained much momentum after that and in 2009, Warner Bros. picked up the rights and Joel Silver was brought on board to produce.

As early as last year, Silver Pictures producer Alex Heineman was still talking up the film and discussing how Hot Wheels would be a marked departure not only from other toy-based films, but also similarly-themed franchises like The Fast and the Furious.

Flash forward to Fast Five making over $587 million worldwide and there’s suddenly a very different attitude. Silver Pictures is no longer involved with Hot Wheels, but Legendary Pictures is now in early negotiations to take over the project. According to Variety, the film will not be targeted at children. Instead, it will be “an edgier pic along the lines of Universal’s box office success Fast Five.”

There aren’t many words that get tossed around Hollywood as needlessly as “edgy” these days – and it’s such a subjective concept that it doesn’t actually tell us very much about which direction the film will ultimately take. Legendary is obviously chasing a different demographic than past incarnations of the Hot Wheels movie, but we’ll have to wait and see how they actually attempt to accomplish that.

hot wheels movie1 Legendary Pictures Developing an Edgy Hot Wheels Movie

Hot Wheels is still a children’s toy first and foremost, but the last decade has seen a substantial increase in the number of adult collectors. There are numerous web pages related to buying, selling, and showcasing these collections – and Mattel is very aware of the impact this has had on their sales.

Regardless, one of the challenges in developing an “edgy” Hot Wheels movie is going to be convincing a general audience that it’s not kiddie fare. On the flip side, the thought of a parent explaining to their child that the film isn’t appropriate for them is slightly amusing. The other challenge the filmmakers face is basing this on a property with absolutely no established mythology – no background, no storylines, no characters, no concept… just props.

In addition to Hot Wheels, Mattel also has Monster High and Major Matt Mason set up at Universal, a Magic 8-Ball movie at Paramount, and the new He-Man film Grayskull at Sony.

Source: Variety.

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30 Comments

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  1. And people say there’s no originality in Hollywood (please note sarcasm).

  2. Yes, Hot Wheels may be a “CHILDREN’S” toy, but most boys born in the 1980′s played with Hot Wheels… and they ain’t children no more…. *AHEM* Transformers…

    • I also had a container of Nickelodeon Gak when I was a kid, but that doesn’t mean I’d go see a movie based on it.

      Transformers had more going for it IMO – like recognizable characters and an actual premise.

      I think name recognition only gets you so far.

      • Gak is from the 90′s.

      • Gak was only a fad, Hot Wheels have been continuously produced since their original conception.

        • LOL – We’re not disagreeing. I mentioned in the article that producing movies based on toys is big business. I’m not terribly enthusiastic about the idea personally, but I didn’t say the movie won’t make any money. Only that it’s going to be more challenging than developing something appealing out of a property with a little bit more substance to it.

          • Big business, yes, but really Chris…Hollywood has just gone to hell. By the way, I am an avid Hot Wheels collector, even at 41 years of age LOL.

    • I grew up in the 60′s and 70′s, played with Hot Wheels and now collect them. We have over 15,000 and counting! Would LOVE to see a HW movie.

  3. The author of the article is confused… There is a mythology, a backstory, characters…. It has been appearing on carton network for years. Look back at the work of Starlight Runner Entertainment in 2002-2003…..

    • If you’re referring to Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, there’s no indication that the movie is based on that cartoon – just the Hot Wheels brand in general.

      That is certainly an example of what you could do with the license, but it’s not exactly in line with the intentions described above.

      • It goes back before Battle force Five. Try World Race Highway 35 (2003) I’m not saying that Legendary will follow any of that but before 2003 there was not real HW story of any kind. They should go back to the company who who HW narrative on the map.

  4. Hot Wheels will probably be PG-13… Sorta the same way that Green Lantern, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Bat Man, Super Man, Jurassic Park, Tron Legacy, HELL, even Terminator 2 had a children’s toyline! Why is this suddenly so shocking??? What should be more upsetting than this is the fact that there is no Dom Toretto action figure to speak of!

  5. I stand corrected! TRON LEGACY was PG. However, Aliens was R, and that also had a childrens toyline.

  6. Robo-Cop was R. I had a Robo Cop action figure when I was 6. The Toxic Crusaders were also action figures based on an animated T.V. show of the same name… TOXIE, the main character, however, is from a well known 1980′s TROMA feature film… The Toxic Avenger…a film which pushes this limit of the rating R to it’s very edge. (Please, don’t take my word for it!)

  7. THE TITLE: HOT WHEELS
    THE PITCH: Movie centers around 2 brothers who grew up around cars; their dad owned a well known garage. When they were young they got into trouble with the local mob guy and their dad interceded and got them out but it cost him his life.

    Jump forward 10 years and the youngest of the 2 boys is a top car thief for hire (think Gone in 60 secs) dealing only in high end exotics. The older brother is a top automotive engineer with a major auto maker.

    The young brother gets into some trouble and calls older brother for help. The younger brother agreed to a job involving a new high end prototype car and now he can’t deliver without help from older brother who just happens to work for the company that is producing the car that is to be stolen.

    Here’s the catch and how the older brother gets involved. The car turns out to be identical to one he pitched to his bosses several years back who at the time told him there was no interest in what he was pitching. Turns out they wanted to steal his idea and they did and now he’s going to help his brother steal it back from the guys who stole the idea from him.

    The hook with Hot Wheels is that the car is very exotic looking and uses a cutting edge engine that gets 100 MPG, produces no harmful gases at all and is designed so that it can last for decades without repair or loss of functionality.

    The rest of the story involves the brothers going back to their dads old shop (now owned and run by a friend of their dad) and recruiting some old child hood friends top form a team.

    At some point we get a scene where a large number of tricked out cars are used as decoys much like the scene in F&F 2 where a bunch of cars all exit a building at the same time to serve ass decoys. This is where they can feature a large number of HOT WHEELS like vehicles that in turn could tie into toys and products.

  8. I wonder if, along with the Hot Wheels movie box office numbers, media outlets will also show graphs for Mattel stock and for Hot Wheels sales during the movie’s theatrical run.

  9. I want a Juicyfruit movie…

    • I want Hair Gel the Movie. Who doesn’t like hair gel?

  10. A Hot Wheels movie? come on, Legendary Pictures should conutine working on Godzilla remake and do more video games into movies adaptions.

    If they do make a Hot Wheels movie, who will the studio aimed it at?
    Kids maybe, Adults no way and teengers, I don’t think some.

    I think the idea is stupid and the film will bomb just like Speed Racer.

    • A Hot Wheels movie? come on, Legendary Pictures should contuine working on the Godzilla remake and do more on making vidoe games turn into movies.

      If they do make a Hot Wheels movie, who will the studio aimed it at?Kids maybe, Adults no way and teengers, I don’t think so.

      I think the idea is stupid and the film will bomb just like Speed Racer.

  11. Wow really? Smh

  12. Trying to mix something as innocuous as Hot Wheels with the Fast and Furious franchise is just asking to fail. It will have the name “Hot Wheels” so kids will want to see it but is supposed to be marketed towards adults who I guess are collectors??? Yeah I’m not getting the relationship.

    This reminds me of trying to turn Speed Racer into a movie.

    • But Speed Racer was at least a cartoon, with characters and a story.. bad as they were. Hotwheels is… nothing. It’s toy cars. No characters, no story, no history.

      I’m waiting for “Solitaire” the movie.

  13. LOL this idea is so stupid it could work.

  14. with car movies like hot wheels, the cars are the star.
    all the actors have to do is drive them really fast, do some stunts and have a good time.
    hot wheels has always been about speed and compitition.
    from the day they were first made, kids were racing them for pink slips.
    those that say theres no foundation for a movie.. were never an 11 year old that dreamed about being in his hot wheels car going threw a barrel loop, then jumping 100 feet and sticking the landing.
    for me, the concept is simple have a local hero, some popular flunkies, and a few rivals for compitition. then build a plot around their 1:1 real life hot wheels cars, as they compeat and strugle to win their races.
    if lengendary studios needs a back story, have them track down the original copies of the 1968 cartoon (hot wheels) or failing that maybe the original comic books might help.

  15. If you make it, we will watch it and buy it – so just make it already!

    Use every HW original design in at least one scene each!

    THAT would be sweet!!!

  16. another note,
    threw the years there has been several cartoon serries, video games, and animated movies made based on the hot wheels brand.
    a few titles are.
    hot wheels,
    hero’s on hot wheels,
    hot wheels stunt tracks,
    hot wheels high way 35
    hot wheels exceleracers
    and,most recently the battle force 5 serries.
    if they need charactor back ground, they can sample some of the existing backgrounds available.
    knowing some history all ways helps, when developing story lines. TAZ

  17. If you don’t think a HW movie would fly or there are too few interested, go to your local Wal Mart to the toy dept. and ask an associate for help with Hot Wheels!! There are soooooooooo many collectors it would knock you off your chair! Go Taz!!

  18. Well, they could base it off of the Highway 35/Acceleracers continuity, and the fact that this attempt started at about the same time as that did, there is a distinct possibility. The lack of much information means we’ll just have to wait.

  19. Started getting Hot Wheels in 1968 and still love them!

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