'Max Steel' Makes a Surprise Debut with New International Trailer

The superhero movie based on the Mattel toyline was shot in 2014, then disappeared without a trace.
Courtesy of YouTube/Dolphin Entertainment

The line between fantasy and reality blurs in the first trailer for the long-awaited Max Steel live-action movie — as do the lines between man and machine and "fan-edit" and "professionally produced movie trailer," from what appears onscreen.

Based on the Mattel toy property, the movie features Ben Winchell as teenage gamer Max McGrath, who finds himself forced to bond with an cybernetic alien called Steel in order to discover the truth about the death of Max's father and the origins of Max's superpowers. Alongside Winchell, the movie features Andy Garcia and Maria Bello, both of whom have blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances in the trailer.

The movie — a co-production between Dolphin Films and Mattel's own Playground Productions, was written by Thor: The Dark World's Christopher Yost and directed by Stewart Hendler. It was actually shot back in 2014, with Open Road closing a deal to distribute the movie in May of that year, originally intended to be released at some point in 2015.

Both the delay in release and the fact that the first glimpse comes in the form of an awkwardly edited international trailer (rather than something intended to promote the movie to domestic audiences) might suggest that hopes for the movie's success are dim at this point. The film is set for an Oct. 14 debut in the U.S.

Watch the trailer below and wonder if Max is one step away from critical reappraisal as a forgotten classic — or merely a direct-to-DVD movie that somehow escaped into theaters, no matter how late.