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Rock’em Sock’em Robots Get Silver Screen Treatment

Mattel Inc. is working with Universal Pictures and action star Vin Diesel’s One Race Films to bring a Rock’em Sock’em Robot movie to the big screen.

The classic table top game lets players take control of two robotic pugilists, who trade plastic blows until one of their heads pops up, signaling a knockout punch. Now, in the tradition of films like the Hugh Jackman vehicle Real Steel, the Rock’em Sock’em Robots will star in a feature film alongside Diesel.

Mattel Films will produce the project alongside Diesel and Samantha Vincent  of The Fast and the Furious franchise from One Race Films. Ryan Engle (“Rampage,” “The Commuter”) penned the screenplay for the action adventure, which follows a father and son who form an unlikely bond with an advanced war machine. Kevin McKeon will lead the project for Mattel Films.

“To take the classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game, with Mattel as my partner, and align it with the kind of world building, franchise making success we have had with Universal, is truly exciting,” said Vin Diesel.

The classic game, seen here in a Mattel product shot, is getting the star treatment with action star Vin Diesel.

“We are proud to bring this iconic piece of Mattel IP to life on the big screen with our tremendously talented partners Vin Diesel, One Race Films and Universal,” added Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films. “Our rich library of franchises continues to yield compelling stories and we look forward to creating what is sure to be a thrilling action adventure for the whole family to enjoy with Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.”

Launched in 1966, the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game was inspired by an arcade boxing game which pitted Red Rocker against Blue Bomber in a fight to knock his rival’s block off. A staple in pop culture since its debut, the brand’s bright and bold gameplay has appeared in films, television shows and commercials over the past five decades.

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots is the second project between Mattel Films and Universal Pictures, which are also developing a movie based on the Wishbone television series.

Other Mattel Films projects in development including movies based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, UNO and View-Master.

One Race Films, founded in 1995 by writer, director, producer and actor Vin Diesel, has produced the five highest-grossing films in the “Fast” franchise — “Fate of the Furious,” “Furious 7,” “Fast and Furious 6,” “Fast Five” as well as “Fast & Furious.” Diesel personally has directed “Multifacial,” “Strays” and “Los Bandoleros.” 

ORF recently produced Sony’s Bloodshot, also starring Diesel, and has previously launched multiple franchises in the action genre, including the science-fiction thriller “Pitch Black” and the two follow-up films, “Chronicles of Riddick” ​and “Riddick,” along with the hit “xXx” franchise. In addition to a thriving film production company, ORF launched One Race Television and gaming company Tigon Studios. ORTV has a first-look deal with Universal Television and is currently developing projects with NBC and Fox and in production with DreamWorks Animation on the Netflix original series “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers.” Tigon Studios has produced three critically acclaimed console titles including “Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay” and original property “The Wheelman.”

Next up, the highly anticipated ninth chapter in the Fast & Furious franchise will hit theaters June 25, 2021.

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