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Mattel adaptations in the works following Barbie – from Polly Pocket to Hot Wheels

Polly Pocket, Hot Wheels and Barney are already in development at Mattel 


Heart Dress Barbie
Megan Bull
TV Writer
August 1, 2023
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Life is plastic-fantastic for Mattel right now! Following the success of Margot Robbie's Barbie, the toy company is flying high on Barbiemania – can you feel the Kenergy? The film's rocketing numbers ($770 million) at the box office have been making headlines, so it's no wonder Mattel has announced that a Polly Pocket movie starring Lily Collins is officially in the works. So, what else is in store for Mattel? Here's what we know about the brand's upcoming film adaptations…

WATCH: Barbie – trailer

Is Barbie getting a sequel? 

While the film's director Greta Gerwig admitted that she has no plans for a Barbie sequel at the moment, Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz hasn't ruled it out. During a recent conference call, he explained: "We haven't announced anything, and it's probably a bit early to talk about sequels, but obviously, with the success of the film…that would invite more opportunities. 

Issa Rae and other barbies wear pink boiler suits© Warner Bros
Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz hinted at future Barbie projects

"We operate in an industry where everyone is looking for these moments, for these brands, for these cultural events. And they happen, but they don't happen that often. [So] we expect the brand to continue to grow, we expect to have more opportunities in content — and this in not just film, this is television and other areas."

MORE: Barbiecore: 15 things things you need to nail the doll-themed trend

READ: Everything we know about Lily Collins’ Polly Pocket Movie so far

Mattel's upcoming adaptations

Polly Pocket

Robbie Brenner – the Barbie producer who runs Mattel Films – has confirmed a Polly Pocket movie fronted by Emily in Paris star, Lily Collins, which is set to be directed by Girls actress, Lena Dunham.

Explaining that a script has already been written, Robbie told Variety: "First of all, they are two of my favorite ladies ever. It's been an amazing collaboration. Lena is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen. She's incredible. Lily is so smart and so specific. It's just been an incredible collaboration, so we are thrilled about it. Hopefully, we'll be making that at some point in the future."

Lily Collins at the Breakthrough Prize Ceremony Awards 2023© Getty
Lily Collins will star as the titular Polly Pocket

While a synopsis is yet to be released, Variety reports that "the film will center on a young girl and a pocket-sized woman who form a friendship." 

Sharing her excitement about the upcoming project on Instagram, Lily Collins wrote: "Little Lil, big news. As a child who was obsessed with Polly Pockets, it's a real dream come true to announce this project! I am partnering with the most inspiring powerhouse team — Robbie Brenner, @lenadunham, @mattel and @mgmstudios — to reintroduce Polly to the world in a fun, modern way… bringing these tiny toys to the big screen. Truly so excited to be coming on as both a producer and Polly herself! Can't wait to dive into this pastel world…"

Barney 

Barney – aka the world's most iconic purple dinosaur – is being brought to life in a live-action movie starring Daniel Kaluuya. 

Daniel Kaluuya posing on the red carpet © Getty
Daniel Kaluuya is attached to star and produce the Barney movie

Speaking about the project in October 2019, Daniel – who is also producing the movie – told The Hollywood Reporter: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We're excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of 'I love you, you love me' can stand the test of time."

Hot Wheels 

Director JJ Abrams has teamed up with Mattel to produce a Hot Wheels movie. Speaking about the adaptation in an interview with the New York Times, he said: "For a long time, we were talking to Mattel about Hot Wheels, and we couldn't quite find the thing that clicked, that made it worthy of what Hot Wheels – that title – deserved … Then we came up with something emotional and grounded and gritty."

Close up of director JJ Abrams© Getty
Director JJ Abrams is producing the Hot Wheels adpatation

In April 2022, Mattel released an official statement for the movie. It read: "The high-throttle action film will bring to life this beloved, multi-generational franchise and showcase some of the world's hottest and sleekest cars, monster trucks and motorcycles."

Executive Producer Robbin Brenner added: "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."

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