Skydance and Mattel July 19 announced plans to develop Matchbox, its die-cast toy vehicle line, into a live-action motion picture.
The iconic Matchbox brand was invented in 1953 by automotive enthusiast Jack Odell to solve a challenge for his daughter, who was allowed to take a toy to school only if it was small enough to fit in a matchbox. When his daughter’s school friends began clamoring for a “matchbox car,” the brand was born. One Matchbox car is sold every second.
“For nearly 70 years, Matchbox has carried enormous cultural relevance and inspired generations of kids to unleash their imaginations, combining what they see in the world every day with what they dream their own world to be,” Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Skydance Media to craft a story for the big screen that evokes the same, imaginative spirit of this beloved Mattel franchise and delights fans of all ages.”
Indeed, Skydance is coming off the hugely successful Top Gun: Maverick with Paramount Pictures. The producer’s upcoming film slate includes the seventh and eighth installments of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise, along with Ghosted and The Greatest Beer Run Ever for Apple TV+, and The Old Guard 2, Heart of Stone and a reimagining of the successful “Spy Kids” franchise for Netflix.
“We are thrilled to be working with Robbie Brenner and her amazing creative team at Mattel,” said Don Granger, president of feature films of Skydance. “There is a shared experience for everyone who has played with a Matchbox vehicle or playset, where they create their own inventive action sequence and we’re excited to craft a worldwide adventure film worthy of such imagination.”
For Mattel Films, the Matchbox project will be led by VP Elizabeth Bassin and creative executive Andrew Scannell. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger and Aimee Rivera will oversee for Skydance Media. The screenplay will be written by three-time Black Lister David Coggeshall, who wrote the upcoming Orphan: First Kill for Paramount, as well as Lee Daniels’s untitled Netflix possession thriller currently filming in Pittsburgh and drafts of Thundercats for Warner Bros. Pictures.
In addition to Matchbox, the Mattel Films development slate features movies for “American Girl,” “Barney,” “Hot Wheels,” “Magic 8 Ball,” “Major Matt Mason,” “Masters of the Universe,” “Polly Pocket,” “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots,” “Thomas & Friends,” “UNO,” “View-Master” and “Wishbone.” Mattel Films is also developing Christmas Balloon, a holiday family drama based on all-new IP. Its Barbie movie is currently in production.