The live-action Hot Wheels movie is moving forward after a finding a new home at Warner Bros. The popular racing car toys first debuted in 1968 and have been a staple for Mattel ever since. The toy company is now branching out to turn their valuable IPs into movies, a process that will begin with Mattel Films and WB working together on a live-action Barbie film that will star Margot Robbie.
A Hot Wheels movie has long been in-development, with the most recent attempt at the live-action movie coming from Legendary. Back in 2016, Justin Lin was hired to direct the film after his work on Star Trek Beyond and his extensive background with the Fast & Furious franchise. Despite his excitement for the project, his Hot Wheels movie never got going and resulted in Lin going back to his other car-centric franchise to direct Fast & Furious 9 & 10. Not only did Lin leave the project, but Legendary is no longer involved at all.
Warner Bros. and Mattel Films announced this morning that they've teamed up to create a new live-action Hot Wheels film, which will be the first ever done. There are no other details on the state of the project, and no talent is yet attached behind or in front of the camera. Mattel's Chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz shared his and Mattel's excitement for the project with the following statement:
We are excited to bring the thrill of a Hot Wheels live-action feature film to the big screen in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures. Mattel Films has great momentum as it continues to execute on our commitment to bring global audiences new ways to experience the brands they love as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.
Hot Wheels toys continue to be a hot commodity for children, as Mattel reports over 500 million cars are sold every year - making it the number one selling toy in the world. Thanks to their colorful designs and imaginative tracks, there are endless possibilities for what types of races these cars can be involved in. Now that Warner Bros. and Mattel Films are working on a new film, fans both new and old will hopefully see this spirit brought to the big screen.
The popularity of the toys themselves makes it clear why WB would be interested in bringing Hot Wheels to the big screen, but the box office success of Fast & Furious also could be a driving force behind the move. The Universal high-octane car franchise has become one of the most lucrative movie properties in recent years, with the last two installments each grossing over $1 billion. The franchise as a whole has earned over $5 billion, and over 70 percent of the ticket sales have come from overseas. Even the 2014 Need for Speed movie made over $200 million worldwide, despite only making $43M domestically. With car-heavy action-racing movies performing well as of late, Hot Wheels could continue this trend if it continues to move forward.
Source: Warner Bros and Mattel Films