×

Mattel Launches Film Division Led By ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Producer Robbie Brenner

Toymaker Mattel Inc. is creating of Mattel Films, a new division producing motion pictures based on its globally recognized franchises.

Hollywood veteran Robbie Brenner, producer of “Dallas Buyers Club,” has been appointed to lead Mattel Films as executive producer, reporting to Ynon Kreiz, Mattel’s new chairman and CEO. The deal was announced on Thursday afternoon.

“Mattel is home to one of the world’s greatest portfolios of beloved franchises, and the creation of Mattel Films will allow us to unlock significant value across our IP,” said Kreiz. “Robbie is a gifted storyteller and a highly respected filmmaker with deep relationships in entertainment. She is the perfect leader to bring our celebrated brands to life.”

Brenner scored an Oscars best picture nomination for “Dallas Buyers Club,” and her film “Burden” was a 2018 Sundance Film Festival audience award winner. She was a partner and president of the film division at the Firm, as well as president of production at Relativity Media. Brenner also ran the classics division at Davis Entertainment, and held senior VP roles at both 20th Century Fox and Miramax. In 2015, Brenner was invited to join the executive branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

She oversaw production of “The Fighter,” “Mirror Mirror, “Dear John,” and “Safe Haven” and was involved in the acquisitions of the Sundance documentary “Catfish” and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, “Don Jon,” starring Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson.

Popular on Variety

“Generations of children around the world have grown up with deep emotional connections to Mattel’s brands and characters,” said Brenner. “There are so many stories to be told and so many imaginations to be captured by these iconic brands, and I look forward to working with Ynon and his team to do so.”

Mattel has lagged behind rivals Lego and Hasbro in terms of moviemaking in Hollywood. Lego has released a trio of movies through Warner Bros. since 2014. Its “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” will open in February.

Hasbro has partnered with Michael Bay and Paramount on five “Transformers” movies, which have grossed $4.4 billion worldwide. A “Bumblee” spinoff will open in December. Hasbro has also seen movie success from its G.I. Joe and Ouija brands.

Mattel has Barbie, Hot Wheels, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Monster High, and Max Steel as potential properties. Most recently, it’s been developing “Barbie” and “Masters of the Universe” movies at Sony  but Sony’s options have expired on those properties. Earlier this year, Sony announced that it had pushed back the release of “Barbie,” which had Anne Hathaway attached at that point, from 2018 to 2020.

Mattel’s most recent foray into movies came with 2016’s live-action “Max Steel,” which performed poorly with less than $4 million at the domestic box office.

More Film

  • 'Suppressed: The Fight to Vote' Review:

    'Suppressed: The Fight to Vote': Film Review

    In 2018, Stacey Abrams, having served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 10 years, ran as the Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia. She was the first African-American woman in the United States to be chosen as a gubernatorial nominee by one of the two major parties. Abrams had tremendous support, and after losing [...]

  • Mike Lowrey (WILL SMITH), Marcus Burnett

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Crossing $100 Million Worldwide

    Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” the third entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led action series, ruled over the global box office and is expected to cross the $100 million mark through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The threequel, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, scored $38.6 million overseas, along [...]

  • The Case

    Bac Films Closes Deals on Psychological Thriller 'The Case'

    Bac Films has closed several deals on Bernard Stora’s “The Case,” a psychological thriller set in the South of France starring Niels Arestrup (“At Eternity’s Gate,” “A Prophet”). The film had its market premiere at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a five-day showcase of French movies wrapping on Jan. 20. Arestrup stars [...]

  • #iamhere

    Gaumont Clinches Deals on French-Korean Romcom '#iamhere' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gaumont has clinched a raft of deals on Eric Lartigau’s Korea-set romantic comedy #iamhere which had its market premiere at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French cinema in Paris. Headlined by Alain Chabat (“Valerian”) and Bae Doona (“Sense8”), the film was penned by Lartigau and Thomas Bidegain (“Sisters Brothers”). Chabat stars as a prominent French chef [...]

  • Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE)

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Towers Over 'Dolittle,' '1917'

    Universal’s “Dolittle” and “1917” found out what “Bad Boys” will do when they come for you at the box office. Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” the third entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led series, beat expectations and towered over the competition during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. “Bad Boys for Life” earned [...]

  • Charlize Theron31st Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly's 'Bombshell' Reaction Video Was 'Really Validating'

    Charlize Theron says it was “really emotional” to watch Megyn Kelly’s half-hour response video to “Bombshell,” the Oscar-nominated feature film that depicts the sexual harassment Kelly (as played by Theron) and several other women experienced from Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The video, which Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on Jan. 9, shows Kelly, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    '1917,' 'Succession' Among Top PGA Award Winners

    “1917” continued its string of major awards season wins on Saturday night, earning the Producers Guild of America award for best picture. Coupled with its win for best picture, drama at the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is officially the front runner for Oscar’s top prize. “It’s a film that is a tribute to all [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content