Hot Wheels has had loads of video games, but strangely never a movie. That may change in the not-so-distant future, as J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Pictures have signed on to produce a feature film starring the iconic diecast brand. It doesn’t seem the cars will have eyes either, as this is said to be a live-action affair.
Your guess is as good as mine as to how Mattel will go about bringing Hot Wheels to the silver screen — in live-action form, no less. There are no prospective plot details to speak of yet, with the company’s press release simply describing the movie as a “high-throttle action film.” That applies to like 70 percent of what’s in theaters these days, no?
Mattel seems jazzed about this partnership, as you’d expect:
“As the global leader in car culture, Hot Wheels has been igniting the challenger spirit in auto enthusiasts for generations,” said Robbie Brenner, Executive Producer, Mattel Films. “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.”
While we know very little about the movie, history might allow us to make educated guesses about the tone and direction it’ll take. As IGN reminds us, this is not the first time Mattel has tried to take Hot Wheels to theaters. The pitch dates back to 2003, and was initially attached to Joseph McGinty Nichol, a.k.a. McG, directing. The property switched studios and directors several times, before more recently ending up in the lap of Fast & Furious mainstay Justin Lin in 2016. Then, crickets.
And while it’s sort of difficult to imagine a Hot Wheels movie taking the form of anything other than a direct-to-VHS hour-long cartoon in one of those oversized plastic cases, Mattel has been throwing a lot of money and star power at its properties as of late. There’s apparently a Barbie movie on the way as well, and wouldn’t you know it’ll feature Margot Robbie in the titular role. Just look at this list of movies Mattel apparently wants to make, courtesy of Deadline:
In addition to Hot Wheels and Barbie, Mattel Films’ development slate features movies based on American Girl, Barney, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, Uno, View Master and Wishbone. The company is also developing a film titled Christmas Balloon, based on all-new IP.
I’m unironically pumped for that Uno movie, by the way. It sounds like Ocean’s Eleven, except with Lil Yachty. So, better.
Back to Hot Wheels. It’d be safe to expect classics, like the Twin Mill and Deora II, front and center in the inevitable chase scenes. The last notable attempt at ripping off Fast & Furious was that quickly forgotten Need For Speed movie, which sort of coasted on being a vehicle for Aaron Paul post-Breaking Bad. Let’s hope Hot Wheels’ shot fares better, and also that someone might actually be able to buy the merchandise in stores.