First up, proving that Hollywood will literally turn anything into a movie, Mattel and MGM have partnered to develop a live action motion picture based on Mattel's classic toy line View-Master. Mattel Films and MGM will co-produce the film. Mattel's Head of Film Robbie Brenner and MGM's Co-President of Production Cassidy Lange will oversee production.
"Since the 1940's, View-Master has inspired wonder and joy in children of all ages, creating huge opportunities for storytelling," said Brenner in a statement. "MGM Pictures has tremendous expertise and a proven track record in capturing audiences' imagination through film, and we're proud to be partnering with them to bring another Mattel franchise to theaters.”
Added Brenner: “This marks another important milestone as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company."
"View-Master was the first device that allowed families all over the world to escape their reality and take them places they never thought they could go," said Jonathan Glickman, MGM's President, Motion Picture Group. “We couldn't be more excited to partner with Mattel to create a family adventure integrating the old school turn and click stereotypic device with the modern world of virtual reality.”
Yes, but what’s the movie actually going to be about? We all get that Mattel is on a roll here, looking to make features based on its American Girl, Hot Wheels and Barbie properties, not to mention a reimagining of Masters of the Universe. But as fun as the View-Master is, it isn’t a toy that exactly lends itself to three-act narrative visual storytelling.
It doesn’t appear a writer or director is attached to the project, so until then, we guess we’ll just have to wait and see how MGM and Mattel turn this toy into a story that can be told in 90 to 120 minutes. Hey, maybe they’ll make it like Jumanji, where the characters can jump inside the slides. We could get behind that.
Up next, a report from Deadline has it that Dev Patel and his Hotel Mumbai co-star Tilda Cobham-Hervey have teamed up with Happy Feet scribe John Collee to write an animated short about a murderous hamster.
The 12-minute animated short and virtual reality project, "Roborovski," follows the eponymous hamster as he waits to be selected as a pet in Marvin’s Pet Shop. But after being constantly ignored by the people and animals around him, his resentment and jealousy eventually awakens a murderous rage within him. We’re guessing a murderous rampage ensues. An adorable, adorable rampage.
The short has received funding from Screen Australia.
Patel and Cobham-Hervey will co-direct. Spectre Studios are working on the VR side and it has been co-funded by Create NSW.
Meanwhile, Run Sweetheart Run, the upcoming film from Blumhouse, has locked down its leading cast. Deadline has broken the news that Ella Balinska (Charlie’s Angels), Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones), Clark Gregg (The Avengers), Aml Ameen (The Maze Runner), Dayo Okeniyi (Shades of Blue), Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad) and Shohreh Aghdashloo (Star Trek Beyond) have been set to star in the horror-thriller about a blind date that turns violent.
Balinska will star a woman being chased on foot through Los Angeles by her psychotic date.
Written and directed by Shana Feste, Run Sweetheart Run is currently filming in Los Angeles.
And finally, the MPAA has officially given the upcoming Hellboy film the R rating creator Mike Mignola had been promising. The association has given the film an R “for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.”
Hellboy stars David Harbour and Daniel Dae Kim mentioned at New York Comic Con last year that this film would be more of a horror or monster movie than Guillermo del Toro’s two Hellboy films, both of which were given PG-13 ratings.
Hellboy raises heck in theatres April 19.