×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.

“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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Blake Lively

    Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Moved Back to 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved the release date of Blake Lively’s “The Rhythm Section” back two months from Nov. 22 to Jan. 31, 2020, the weekend of Super Bowl LIV. The spy tale, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novels surrounding character Stephanie Patrick, is produced by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson through their [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    'The Mandalorian': Watch the First Trailer for 'Star Wars' Series

    The gunslinging lone warrior — the Mandalorian, as they call him — calls the far reaches of the “Star Wars” galaxy home. Disney dropped the first trailer for the spinoff series during its biennial D23 convention on Friday, finally giving fans a closer look at the franchise’s newest character. “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau, who [...]

  • Lady and the Tramp trailer

    'Lady and the Tramp': Disney's Live-Action Remake Gets First Trailer (Watch)

    Ready your dog-friendly bowl of spaghetti, Disney has debuted the first trailer for its live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux. The teaser was released during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim at the Disney + presentation. In addition to Thompson and Theroux, who play the Lady and Tramp, respectively, [...]

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    'Angel Has Fallen' to Dominate Modest Box Office With $20 Million Weekend

    Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman are leading the way at the North American box office with “Angel Has Fallen” on its way to about $20 million, early estimates showed Friday. Should forecasts hold, “Angel Has Fallen” will take in about double the next title, Universal’s second weekend of raunchy comedy “Good Boys” with about $10 [...]

  • Aracne

    Sanfic Standout ‘Aracne’ Filmmakers Discuss the State of Chilean Genre

    A key project at this year’s Santiago Lab, the Santiago Intl. Film Festival industry forum for promising Latin American projects, Florencia Dupont’s “Aracne” is representative of a push from the next generation of Chilean filmmakers into genre cinema and the themes it can explore. “Aracne” turns on Beatriz, a young journalist at a small Santiago [...]

  • Eduardo Machuca

    Chile’s Eduardo Machuca Unveils Machuca Films Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile – Eduardo Machuca, the former film co-ordinator of Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has launched his own production company, Machuca Films. “After 25 years at the ministry, I felt I needed to tap my creative side,” said Machuca, who is also tying the knot on Saturday (Aug. 24) with a former Sanfic staffer, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content