Live-action Barney film in the works from Mattel & Daniel Kaluuya
According to Deadline, Mattel Films are in the process of developing a new live-action movie centered on the iconic purple dinosaur Barney from PBS’ classic children’s series Barney & Friends. Academy Award-nominated actor Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) is attached to co-produce the film through his production company 59% in partnership with Mattel Films and Valparaiso Pictures.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” Kaluuya said in a statement. “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.”
The character was created by Sheryl Leach, who was inspired to come up with an idea to make something about singing and dancing that can appeal to her son. Barney first appeared on the PBS network on April 6, 1992 and has become a pop culture icon since his debut.
“Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to ‘Barney’ that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations,” Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner said. “The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
Valparaiso’s Carrico added, “Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination, and we can’t wait to get ‘I love you, you love me’ stuck in heads everywhere, yet again.”
The project will be added to Mattel Film’s growing slate of upcoming projects including potential franchises based on their popular toys such as Hot Wheels, American Girl, View-Master and Barbie, which will be led by Margot Robbie, who will also serve as producer.