In a Barbie world: Could Mattel be lining up a franchise to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Lily Collins (left) and Daniel Kaluuya (right) are already signed on to Mattel projects. Credit: AP

By Lily Ford, ITV News Multimedia Producer

It is hard to believe any franchise could compete with the global success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But the box office doesn't lie - and Greta Gerwig's partnership with Mattel has so-far accrued over $400 million (£308m) globally since its release on Friday.

Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz has only recently suggested that Barbie will be the starter project at the centre of a wider MCU-esque cinematic universe.

"Successful movies lend themselves to more movies," he told US outlet Variety.

"Our ambition is to create film franchises."

He said up to 14 projects are in the works for the new MCU.

Polly Pocket

Emily in Paris star Lily Collins is set to feature in the titular role for a live action adaptation of renowned doll Polly Pocket.

HBO's Girls frontwoman Lena Dunham will direct.

It was first announced in June 2021, but the Polly Pocket film has been swept up in the Barbie hype in recent days.

"First of all, they are two of my favorite ladies ever," Mattel and Barbie producer Robbie Brenner told US outlet Variety of Collins and Dunham.

Brenner said Dunham's script is "great".

"Lena is so collaborative and rolls up her sleeves and really likes to roll around in notes and listen. She’s incredible."

Lena Dunham (right) will direct the Polly Pocket movie. Credit: AP

"Lily is so smart and so specific and so productorial.

"It’s just been an incredible collaboration, so we are thrilled about it."


Another adaptation surrounding a popular children's character is on the way.

A movie focused on the beloved purple dinosaur has been pitched as a "surrealistic" think-piece.

Mattel executive Kevin McKeon said it would "focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being 30-something, growing up with Barney - just the level of disenchantment within the generation."

Brenner also suggested it will have adult themes to open the film up to a wider audience.

Get Out and Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya will produce and star, though how the Hollywood actors' strike effects these projects is unknown.

The first look at Mattel's new take on Barney the dinosaur. Credit: Business Wire

Hot Wheels

Not far after Barbie, Hot Wheels - the famous toy cars - is one of Mattel's best-selling products.

The Hot Wheels project will be adapted and produced by Star Wars director JJ Abrams, who said the film will be "grounded and gritty."

As far as a cast goes, no line-up has been announced just yet.

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Brenner has also teased a project based on the two-player action game.

Vin Diesel is reportedly attached and a script is in development.

Other movies that have been teased as additions to the Mattel Cinematic Universe is Tom Hanks starring as Major Matt Mason, a Magic 8-Ball movie, Uno the Movie, and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz said the company wants to create film franchises. Credit: AP

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