J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot has signed on to produce the live-action adaptation of the iconic toy “Hot Wheels,” Mattel and Warner Bros. announced on Monday.
While plot details are still in their original packaging, the release notes that the film will feature “the world’s hottest and sleekest cars, monster trucks and motorcycles,” fitting for the 54-year-old toy brand. According to figures from the NPD Group retail tracking service, Hot Wheels is the number one selling toy in the world, moving more than 8 billion vehicles.
This project marks one of the first major film titles under Bad Robot’s production deal with Warner Bros., which runs through 2024, alongside “The Pinkerton” from screenwriter Daniel Casey, “Zatanna” from screenwriter Emerald Fennell, the untitled Superman movie from screenwriter Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the animated feature “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” with Jon M. Chu directing.
“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,” said Bad Robot film chief Hannah Minghella. “It’s that imagination, passion, and risk-taking spirit that we want to capture in this film.”
“As the global leader in car culture, Hot Wheels has been igniting the challenger spirit in auto enthusiasts for generations,” Mattel Films executive producer Robbie Brenner said in a statement. “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.”
Leading the project are Mattel Films vice president Kevin McKeon and creative executive Andrew Scannell; Warner Bros. vice president Peter Dodd; and Bad Robot’s Minghella and Jon Cohen.
Mattel of late has leaned heavily on adapting its suite of toy titles into feature projects; Warner Bros. is also producing a star-studded “Barbie” movie directed by Greta Gerwig, written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, and produced by star Margot Robbie. Also on Mattel’s development slate: Masters of the Universe, American Girl, Polly Pocket, UNO, and View Master.