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Toy Licensing: Hot Wheels Go Hollywood in Warner x Mattel Deal

Mattel and Warner Bros. have announced development of a Hot Wheels movie, produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot studio.

The result will be a live-action film featuring the venerable toy racing car brand, which remains the number one selling toy in the world, with more than 8 billion vehicles sold. True to its name, the film will bring to life the world’s hottest cars, monster trucks and motorcycles.

“As the global leader in car culture, Hot Wheels has been igniting the challenger spirit in auto enthusiasts for generations,” said Robbie Brenner, Executive Producer, Mattel Films. “Fans of all ages are now in for the ride of their lives with the incredible talent of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot joining us alongside Warner Bros. Pictures to transform Hot Wheels’ legendary IP into a thrilling story for the big screen.”

The Hot Wheels brand is now more than a half-century old, and is the world’s leading toy vehicle franchise. Mattel has owned Hot Wheels for most of that time, but the concept was born in a car enthusiast’s garage.

Hannah Minghella, Bad Robot’s President of Motion Pictures said, “Before Hot Wheels became the global household name it is today, it was the dream of Elliot Handler, who was inventing and building toy cars at home in his Southern California garage. It’s that imagination, passion, and risk-taking spirit that we want to capture in this film.”

Kevin McKeon, Vice President and Andrew Scannell, Creative Executive will lead the project for Mattel Films. Peter Dodd will lead the project for Warner Bros. Pictures, while Hannah Minghella and Jon Cohen will oversee the production for Bad Robot.

“Growing up, Hot Wheels were more than just cars, they were vehicles for our imaginations,” said Dodd, Vice President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.  “Today, we at Warner Bros. are thrilled to bring that imagination to the big screen with Robbie Brenner and the creative team at Mattel along with the ingenious minds of J.J. Abrams, Hannah Minghella and the team at Bad Robot.”

The Hot Wheels film is part of Mattel’s wider strategy of turning its rich portfolio of toy and game brands into platforms for entertainment in films and TV series. Mattel’s development slate now looks more like a Hollywood studio than a toy company.

Mattel Films and Warner Bros. Pictures are also partners on the upcoming motion picture, Barbie. Now in principal photography, the film is targeted for theatrical release in 2023. The film stars and is produced by Margot Robbie under her Lucky Chap Entertainment banner and directed by Greta Gerwig who also wrote the screenplay alongside her husband Noah Baumbach.

In addition to Hot Wheels, the Mattel Films development slate features movies based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, UNO, View Master, and Wishbone. Mattel Films is also developing Christmas Balloon, based on all-new IP.

But it does appear the new Hot Wheels film could be one of Mattel’s highest profile productions to date. Bad Robot is a hugely successful studio. It already has a wide slate of film projects in development under its Warner Bros. Discovery deal, including Superman written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Zatana written by Emerald Fennell and the animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ iconic children’s book Oh, The Places You’ll Go with Jon Chu attached to direct. Bad Robot is currently in post-production on the female driven thriller “Lou” starring Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett for Netflix as well as working with director Matt Shakman on a new Star Trek movie for Paramount.

Character Licensing: Hot Wheels Develops High End R/C Version Of New Batmobile

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Go Live

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