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MGM and Mattel are partnering up to develop a live-action feature film based on the toy entertainment company’s classic View-Master toy line.
Mattel Films, the feature arm launched late last year by the El Segundo-based toymaker, and MGM will co-produce the film. Robbie Brenner, Mattel’s head of film, and Cassidy Lange, MGM’s co-president of production, will oversee development.
No writer or filmmaker is attached.
View-Master, a stereoscopic eye device, launched at 1939 New York World’s Fair, bringing 3D images of tourist attractions to the masses. It exploded in popularity in the 1950s and became a childhood staple when a licensing deal with Disney was struck. Deals for other movies and television shows soon followed. Mattel acquired the brand, which by then had expanded into audio and projection, in 1997, due to its merger with Tyco. Modern View-Masters now involve smartphone tech as well as VR.
“Since the 1940s, View-Master has inspired wonder and joy in children of all ages, creating huge opportunities for storytelling,” said Brenner in a statement. “MGM Pictures has tremendous expertise and a proven track record in capturing audiences’ imagination through film, and we’re proud to be partnering with them to bring another Mattel franchise to theaters. This marks another important milestone as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”
Stated Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s motion picture group president: “View-Master was the first device that allowed families all over the world to escape their reality and take them places they never thought they could go. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Mattel to create a family adventure integrating the old school turn and click stereotypic device with the modern world of virtual reality.”
This is the latest push for the big screen for View-Master. In 2009, the toy was set up at DreamWorks and being developed by K/O Paper Products, the company then run by writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. The project eventually became inactive.
The new Mattel-MGM pact is the second collaboration between the two companies. Earlier in February, the two partnered to develop a movie on Mattel’s American Girl brand.
And the deal also signifies the latest toy marked for development as part of Mattel’s new push into screen entertainment. Hot Wheels and Barbie both found new studio homes in 2019, while Masters of the Universe is enjoying renewed momentum at Sony.
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