MGM and Mattel have joined forces to produce a live-action film based on the popular American Girl dolls and books. The brand had a major impact on kids in the '90s, so that same generation is about to get hit with a fresh wave of nostalgia.
First introduced in 1986, the American Girl dolls portray girls from different time periods and cultures accompanied with books that give insight into the young women’s lives. Over 32 million American Girl dolls and 157 million American Girl books have been sold to date, and there have been several made-for-TV films, with New Line Cinema's Kit Kittredge: An American Girl being the first and only theatrically released American Girl adaptation. Now, with the recent announcement of a live-action film based on the American Girl brand, it's obvious that the dolls are still making an impact.
Mattel revealed that a live-action adaptation of the American Girl dolls and books is happening. Since the film is still in the beginning stages, the official plot, cast, and release date have yet to be revealed. Mattel Films, MGM, and PICTURESTART’s Erik Feig (The Spy Who Dumped Me, the upcoming Naruto adaptation) will produce the film alongside Cassidy Lange (the upcoming remake of The Pink Panther) and Robbie Brenner (the upcoming adaptation of Hot Wheels). MGM's President Jonathan Glickman said:
“American Girl is a timeless and iconic brand that is part of the fabric of families all over the world. We look forward to working with our partners at Mattel and PICTURESTART to bring this cross-generational film to audiences all over the globe.”
The go-ahead on an American Girl film follows a recent trend in Mattel bringing their toy lines to the big screen. A live-action Hot Wheels film was recently announced, focusing on the racing car toys first released in the '60s (which still happen to be one of Mattel's most popular items). Mattel also recently joined forces with Warner Bros. to create a Barbie live-action film starring Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie as the titular character. That said, Mattel isn't alone in adapting or rebooting beloved characters, as Disney is continuing their streak of live-action adaptations with Aladdin, Dumbo, and The Lion King.
The American Girl dolls and books essentially defined a generation. And, even though it has yet to be revealed whether the film will center around one classic character or a number of them together, there is certainly plenty to work with. Live-action films based on toys can be hit-or-miss (see: G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), but given American Girl's massive popularity, it stands a chance at finding success.
Source: Mattel and MGM