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Barney & Friends, which was produced from 1992 to 2009, was a childhood staple and introduced viewers to Barney, an imaginary and perpetually optimistic tyrannosaurus rex that teaches lessons about friendship through song and dance.
Kaluuya will produce the project through his newly formed 59% banner, along with Rowan Riley and Amandla Crichlow, as well as David Carrico, Adam Paulsen and Bobby Hoppey for Valparaiso (Sound of Silence). Kevin McKeon will oversee for Mattel. The project does not have a studio attached.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” said Kaluuya. “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.”
“Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations,” added Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner. “The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
“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,” said Carrico of Valparaiso Pictures.
Barney will join other Mattel properties that are currently being developed as features, including Hot Wheels, Masters of the Universe and Barbie, the latter of which is set up at Warner Bros. and has Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach attached.