Is a 'Barbie' sequel in the works? Director Greta Gerwig, Mattel in disagreement

An entire list of upcoming offerings has been released

Entertainment Desk July 28, 2023

After a remarkable box office triumph with Barbie, Mattel has firmly established its presence in Hollywood, propelled by a vision to create a sprawling IP-driven universe helmed by CEO Ynon Kreiz. The success of Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie, grossing an astounding $380 million worldwide in its first five days, has opened up a multitude of opportunities for Mattel to bring its beloved children's toys to the silver screen in a big way.

Under the leadership of producer Robbie Brenner, who oversees Mattel Films, the toy company currently has 14 properties actively in development, Variety reports. Mattel is also eager to explore potential sequels for Barbie. Whether or not this will be without Gerwig, the director of Barbie, is yet to be seen. Gerwig has candidly stated that she is not thinking about a sequel to the blockbuster hit. 

“At this moment, it’s all I’ve got,” Gerwig told The New York Times. “I feel like that at the end of every movie, like I’ll never have another idea and everything I’ve ever wanted to do, I did. I wouldn’t want to squash anybody else’s dream but for me, at this moment, I’m at totally zero.” Be that as it may, the mind-boggling success of the film means that Mattel and Warner Bros. will want more.

Whilst in conversation with Variety, Mattel executives opened up about the many iterations of the Barbie brand. “Barbie, as a brand, has many different iterations. The product lines of Barbie is a very broad brand. In addition to the main Barbie figure, she has family, she has a lot of elements around in her universe,” Kreiz told Variety. “It’s a very rich universe… It’s a very broad and very elastic brand, in terms of opportunities.”

However, Variety has listed a number of exciting projects that are in the pipeline for Mattel. Barney will be one project. The beloved purple dinosaur will inspire a unique, live-action film described as "A24-type surrealistic" by Mattel. Producer Daniel Kaluuya aims to bring depth and adult themes to the story of identity, love, and belonging. The film will explore the idea of alienation and promises to be an off-kilter experience.

Polly Pocket is another project on the list. Lily Collins stars as the micro-doll in this family comedy, written and directed by Lena Dunham. The collaboration between Collins and Dunham has been described as incredible, and fans can expect an entertaining and heartfelt adventure when the film hits the screens.

Hot Wheels will have producer JJ Abrams take on the challenge of bringing the world's top-selling toy to life with a "grounded and gritty" adaptation. Emphasising real characters with emotional journeys, the film promises to be more than just a fun ride. Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots has Vin Diesel leading the action-packed feature based on Mattel's tabletop game of battling robots. With Diesel's excitement and the development of a script underway, fans can anticipate a thrilling and high-octane adventure.

American Girl will be a family comedy centred on the empowering world of American Girl dolls. While details remain tightly under wraps, Mattel promises something great is in the works. Magic 8 Ball is set to be a "PG-13 thriller," Mattel plans to adapt the iconic Magic 8 Ball into a captivating and suspenseful film.

Masters of the Universe will be a story around the superhero He-Man. This has been a long-standing development endeavour for Mattel. While Netflix dropped the project, the company remains determined to create an action-adventure flick that could lead to a massive franchise. 

Major Matt Mason sees Tom Hanks take the lead in this film based on the Mattel astronaut action figure from the 1960s, where the character lives and works on the moon. UNO will have the world's top-performing card game get its own movie, adding a new dimension to the classic gaming experience.

Wishbone will be a watch where the literary Jack Russell terrier from the '90s PBS series stars in a family-friendly adventure comedy produced by filmmaker Peter Farrelly. Matchbox is intended to be an action-packed film which will revolve around the legendary toy cars that have captivated generations since their invention in 1953.

Thomas & Friends will be a fantasy film based on the beloved children's animated train series, helmed by Marc Forster, known for directing World War Z and Monster's Ball. View Master, inspired by the classic picture viewer invented in 1939, is an adventurous film set to capture the hearts of viewers.

Christmas Balloon is set to be a heartwarming family drama about a young girl's dreams coming true when the company responds to her Christmas list tied to a balloon. It is based on a true story. 

Mattel's strategic approach of transforming its toy properties into cinematic franchises has already seen early success with Barbie, and the company is optimistic about the future. As these exciting projects move forward, audiences can look forward to immersive experiences filled with beloved characters and captivating stories that transcend generations.

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