You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NL spins slick pic for Dummies

First, there were pizza-gobbling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Now, New Line Cinema plans a live-action motion picture based on the Incredible Crash Dummies–stars of the public service announcements used to promote seatbelt use and auto safety.

New Line has acquired the movie and prime time live-action TV rights to the action figures from merchandise rights holder Leisure Concepts Inc. and manufacturer Tyco Toys. The deal also includes New Line’s future participation in the merchandising revenues following release of the picture.

The nationally known Crash Dummies–named Slick and Spin–are robotic action toy figures with human personas, who literally knock themselves out by exploding on impact as they teach kids to buckle up for safety.

While the Crash Dummies may seem an odd choice for big-screen stardom, New Line exex believe the characters fit the company’s strategy to create movie franchises with built-in marketing hooks.

Saturday series

New Line’s movie plans could capitalize on the Saturday morning animated TV series based on the Crash Dummies currently in development at CBS with Nelvana Entertainment planned for fall ’93. Also, Tyco is financing an animated special that’s expected to air in the first quarter of 1993. Already on the market is a Crash Dummies Nintendo video game.

As far as the big screen plans, New Line expects to hire a screenwriter for the project within two weeks, with hopes of having a completed draft by the end of the year. “It’s a priority project,” said company senior VP of production Michael De Luca.

He said New Line hopes to be in production on the “Crash Dummies” movie by spring 1993. “We simply can’t let it sit on a shelf because the ‘Crash Dummies’ are hot now and getting hotter,” De Luca said.

Contemplated as a Tyco Toys and Leisure Concepts production, the movie is expected to be budgeted in the $ 6 million to $ 10 million range.

Ultimate road movie

“We’re looking to make the ultimate road movie and the ultimate sight-gag movie,” said De Luca, who added, “The ‘Buckle Up’ message of the Crash Dummies will be included in the storyline.”

The rights deal with New Line was brokered by the William Morris Agency’s VP Alan Gasmer and co-motion picture head John Burnham. New Line chairman Robert Shaye expressed early interest in the Crash Dummies and championed the project along with De Luca.

Gasmer noted that Crash Dummies “was a good deal for our client (LCI) and for New Line, which is a very aggressive company that knows how to market a movie in this genre–they proved that with the wildly successful ‘Teenage Mutant Turtles.’ ”

New Line’s emphasis on “pre-sold properties” paid off in spades with the company’s spin-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The 1990 original, which Golden Harvest produced for around $ 12 million and New Line released domestically, grossed $ 135.3 million.

Originated in the early ’80s, the Crash Dummies were initially part of a public safety campaign from the state of California.

They were subsequently incorporated into U.S. Dept. of Transportation PSAs to promote seatbelt use through the characters’ zany adventures.

Over the last two years, the Crash Dummies have been revamped by Leisure Concepts Inc. and Tyco as toy figurines named Slick, Spin, Daryl, Spare Tire, Skid the Kid, and pets Hubcat (cat) and Bumper (dog).

For LCI, the Crash Dummies is the latest in a series of high-profile movie deals involving famous characters the company represents, including “Super Mario Brothers: The Movie” (Disney); “The Shadow” (Universal), “Charlie Chan” (Imagine/Universal) and “The Green Hornet” (rights in limbo).

More Film

  • Britney Spears Musical

    Britney Spears Musical 'Once Upon a One More Time's' Film Rights Land at Sony

    Sony Pictures has won screen rights to the Broadway-bound “Once Upon a One More Time,” a fairy tale featuring classic songs from Britney Spears, sources have confirmed to Variety. John Davis’ Davis Entertainment will produce the film along with Spears and her manager, Larry Rudolph. Neither a writer nor a director has yet been attached. [...]

  • ‘Girl on the Train’ India Remake

    ‘Girl on the Train’ Indian Remake Set at Reliance Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    India’s Reliance Entertainment will produce the official Indian remake of Tate Taylor’s 2016 film “The Girl on the Train.” Ribhu Dasgupta, who is currently completing Netflix series “Bard Of Blood,” being produced by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, will direct. Parineeti Chopra (“Kesari”) will star. Production will commence at U.K. locations from mid-July. Based [...]

  • 'Avengers: Endgame' Cast Gets Hands and

    Watch Live: 'Avengers' Cast Gets Hands and Feet Cemented at TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood

    The Avengers have left an indelible mark on popular culture and now they are doing the same to the cement floor outside of the TCL Chinese Theater. Watch the livestream video of “Avengers: Endgame” cast Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans,  Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige imprinting [...]

  • Zachary Levi

    'Shazam!' Star Zachary Levi to Host 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards

    “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi will be suiting up next for the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards in June. Levi will emcee the award show on June 17 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. Nominees will be announced in the coming weeks. Fresh off DC Comics’ latest blockbuster, Levi is no stranger to [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy Remembers Steve Golin as 'A Warrior and a Mensch'

    It was a brutal process to get “Spotlight” made. The movie was dead at least three times before we shot it because of financing problems, studio problems, deadlines, actors’ availability and the time of year we could shoot. There were moments when Steve and I were just going at it. We’d have hilarious late-night correspondence. [...]

  • "A War Within"

    SF Studios Scoops International Sales to 'Grandpas,' 'A War Within' (EXCLUSIVE)

    SF Studios has scooped international sales rights to Santiago Requejo’s heartfelt comedy drama “Grandpas” and Kasper Torsting’s WWI-set Danish love drama “A War Within” in the run up to Cannes. Both films are third-party pickups. “Grandpas” is a high-profile Spanish movie starring Carlos Iglesias (“Crossing Borders”), Roberto Álvarez (“Talk to her”) and Ramón Barea (“Everybody [...]

  • 'Gemini Man' First Trailer Drops With

    Will Smith Faces Off Against Himself in Ang Lee's 'Gemini Man' Trailer

    Will Smith battles a familiar antagonist in the official trailer for Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” — himself. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media dropped dazzling new footage of the futuristic sci-fi drama, scored to a haunting version of “Forever Young,” that sees Smith playing an elite assassin. Things get tricky when he finds out the man [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content