Good, bad or interesting, the strange ideas from Hollywood for upcoming films keep coming at us like a runaway train and it’s time to grab on or get out of the way because it would appear that this train cannot be stopped. I, for one, have decided to get my ticket punched and grab a window seat because I’m curious to see where it’s heading next.
The next train pulling up belongs to Mattel – The toymaker that has given the world such classic toys as: Barbie, Hot Wheels, Chatty Cathy, Pound Puppies and my personal favorite, Rock’em Sock’em Robot. Mattel has recently inked a deal with Universal Studios to produce a live-action musical for a yet-to-be-named Mattel toy property.
Not much is known about the new movie other than it will be a musical and that Mattel’s new toy line that it’ll be based on is a unique approach on current monster folk lore. Tim Kilpin, general manager for Mattel Brands’ Girls, Boys & Games Group, and executive producer for the unnamed musical said:
“This is a new step for us — a real opportunity to launch a new intellectual property on multiple platforms. It has a broad family appeal and the ability to translate as a musical, (in) publishing and (to) other venues.”
Universal appears to be trying hard to make this work on a musical level by putting together a decent set of composers – bringing back the musical team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman who scored Hairspray. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producing duo behind the smash hit musical Chicago, are set to produce this outing and together they are working on the upcoming Footloose remake.
“Neil and I have been looking for an original movie musical franchise for several years, and we feel this one is it,” Zadan said “It really has long-term potential, and it will spin the monster genre on its ear.”
This is not the first collaboration between Mattel and Universal. The two entertainment giants are also developing Major Matt Mason which might star Tom Hanks and is slated to hit theater in 2012. Major Matt Mason was an astronaut living on the moon and was a popular toy for Mattel in the late sixties. Mattel is currently working with Paramount to bring their Masters of the Universe line of toys to life with the help of producer Joel Silver, director John Stevenson and writer Evan Daugherty who they’ve hired to pen the script.
Another toymaker, Hasbro, is ahead of Mattel in the toys-to-movies category by bringing Transformers and the upcoming GI Joe to life. So, it makes sense that Mattel would be working to develop its own successful toys for film.
This is very unusual for the genre. Usually, the movie comes out followed by the toy line or the toy line comes out and then the movie. But this approach of developing a movie, a musical no less, before the toy it is based on comes out or is even known to the public is intriguing to me and I’m interested to see how it develops over time. If this is done right it could turn into a cash cow for both parties involved and so far it appears that Mattel and Universal are on the right track with the people they have hired.
Do you think this has a chance to be Mattel’s opus or will it just hit a sour note?
There is currently no release date.