Mattel Making Even More Movies Out Of Iconic Toys

Toy manufacturer Mattel's beloved Hot Wheels cars will soon become a feature movie.

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Ready? Set? Go! Mattel is bringing every kid’s favorite toy car, Hot Wheels, to the big screen. As reported by Deadline, the Hot Wheels movie is getting even closer to the finish line with the addition of writers Dalton Leeb and Nicholas Jacobson-Larson to the project.

Hot Wheels will be a joint venture from Mattel Films, Warner Bros. Discovery and J. J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot. Mattel has been trying to make a movie about the beloved model cars for decades, and the addition of writers Leeb and Jacobson-Larson means that Mattel’s dream is finally becoming a reality.

The writers may not be household names, but that’s sure to change after their deal with Netflix. Leeb and Jacobson-Larson sold their script for the sci-fi epic Endurance to the streaming giant in 2020 after a vicious bidding war between several other entertainment juggernauts. Their previous script for Strongman landed them on the blacklist in 2017, proving that the duo is currently a hot commodity in Hollywood.

It’s safe to say that Hot Wheels is in safe hands with Dalton Leeb and Nicholas Jacobson-Larson behind the keyboard. Giving a toy like this a narrative may seem like a daunting task, but the upcoming live-action film will actually be the latest in a long line of story-driven projects. Hot Wheels City, Hot Wheels: AcceleRacers – Ignition, Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5, and the granddaddy of them all, 1969’s Hot Wheels, all pre-date Mattel’s latest property.

Hot Wheels is just the first in a string of toy properties Mattel hopes to bring to a movie theater near you in the next few years. The toy company is planning on making movies out of the popular line of American Girl dolls, as well as Barney the Dinosaur, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, Uno, View-Master and Wish Bone.

Perhaps most surprising is Mattel’s announcement of a film about Matchbox cars in the pipeline. Making a movie out of Hot Wheels’ biggest competitor would seem like an odd move if we didn’t live in the age of shared universes. Though nothing has been announced, it doesn’t take much imagination to see a crossover film in Mattel’s future.

In fact, several of the above properties could easily join together in a sort of “toy aisle Avengers” if Mattel ever wanted to make such a thing. He-Man and Polly Pocket riding Hot Wheels into battle? Stranger things have happened.

hot wheels
Battleship

Of course, for all of those future endeavors to become a reality, Mattel will have to prove that its toys can translate successfully to movies. The only other toy company to attempt to turn its popular playthings into silver-screen gold was Milton Bradley, with its 2012 film Battleship, a movie that sunk at the box office.

At least with Dalton Leeb and Nicholas Jacobson-Larson in charge of the story, Hot Wheels has a fighting chance. Can a movie about tiny metal cars cross the finish line with audiences? The race begins in 2025!