Hollywood is a town where there hasn’t been an original thought since the late 1970s. It exists on a few simple rules. If one is good, then two must be better, monkey-see / monkey-do, and idiots fail upwards. Also, if anyone catches an unbelievably lucky break, it is never luck, and somebody, somewhere must be an actual genius! Thus it is with Barbie and Mattel.


Never mind that it was gifted an absolutely free marketing phenomenon to ride by people with absolutely nothing to do with the studio – basically civilians on social media – clearly the success is due to their genius, they can do no wrong, and refer to rules one, two and three above.

Mattel is already looking to further film adaptations of its products, with fourteen movies now in active development.


Producer Robbie Brenner gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter (via Dark Horizons) that suggests, hey, it worked so well for superheroes that what we really need is a Mattel cinematic universe:

“There’s so much crossover potential. Certainly Barbie can live with Hot Wheels and Matchbox and Major Matt Mason.”

She then spoke about another stroke of inspiration she received recently, from her own corporate HQ where extremely valuable and rare Barbie dolls designed by people like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol are on display:

“The other day someone came to visit, and we were giving them a tour and we were showing them the Basquiat upstairs and the Warhol. It happened to have been Halloween, so all of the kids were trick-or-treating [in offices] and in costumes. I thought to myself, this is a setup for a movie, a kid’s heist film where they steal the Basquiat and Warhol. That’s a good Mattel movie.”

Remember, if one is good, then two must be better, so she also spoke Barbie sequels:

“When you have something that’s successful, how can you not talk about the sequel or what that is? But everybody is just reveling in the moment here now and enjoying this ride that just keeps going…

Barbie is a unicorn. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before; nothing that most people have been a part of. But the only thing that I can do is to just focus on each project, individually.”

The future slate includes a Polly Pocket film by Lena Dunham, a Hot Wheels film from J.J. Abrams, and an “A24-type film” about Barney the Dinosaur. The mind boggles.

Meanwhile, Hasbro can’t even get the home run that is G.I. Joe right on the big screen.


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