Mattel Films, Daniel Kaluuya developing Barney movie

The iconic purple dinosaur is being reimagined as a live-action movie by the Get Out actor's prodco and the toyco's fledgling film division.
October 18, 2019

A live-action film based on Barney, the purple dinosaur who captivated kids in the 1992 television series Barney & Friends, will return to screens as part of Mattel Films’ theatrical slate.

Barney will be produced by Mattel Films, the newly-formed production company 59% from Get Out and Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya, Rowan Riley and Amandla Crichlow, and Valparaiso Pictures’ David Carrico, Adam Paulsen and Bobby Hoppey.

Mattel Films’ head Robbie Brenner said in a statement that Kaluuya will help them bring a new approach to Barney that will “surprise audiences and subvert expectations,” while the actor and producer added that the purple dinosaur was a ubiquitous figure in childhood who “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,” Kaluuya said.

This marks the first partnership between Mattel Films, 59% and Valparaiso.  Kevin McKeon will shepherd the project for Mattel Films.

Created just a year ago, Mattel Films has eight live-action movies in the pipeline, including two from a joint venture with Warner Bros. Pictures Group, a Hot Wheels movie and a Barbie feature film starring and co-produced by Margot Robbie. Other films based on its toy properties include a movie on the View-Master, Masters of the Universe, American Girl, Magic 8 Ball and Major Matt Mason.

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