Hollywood has been trying to get a Hot Wheels movie off the starting line for almost twenty years, but after skidding into a roadblock or two, the project finally appears to be back on track.
Warner Bros. and Mattel have hired two screenwriters for the Hot Wheels film, which means that it’s finally, definitely, probably, maybe, actually happening this time.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that screenwriting team Neil Widener and Gavin James have been hired to write the script for a Hot Wheels movie based on the popular toy line of tiny cars. Widener and James don’t have any produced screenplay credits yet, but they’re working on the sequel to Dwayne Johnson’s disaster thriller San Andreas, as well as the magic-focused heist sequel Now You See Me 3.
THR says these guys participated in a Warner Bros. “bake off” in which the studio asked for treatments for an idea for a Hot Wheels film, and this duo’s treatment ended up beating out more recognizable names to win them the writing gig. Unfortunately, it’s unclear what their take is for this project. Is it a Fast & Furious style racing thriller? A madcap, cross-country road trip movie in the vein of Cannonball Run? A LEGO Movie-style meta comedy which leans into the ridiculous idea that this is all based on a toy? It’s a mystery…for now.
In 2003, years before /Film had even been founded, Columbia hired McG (Charlie’s Angels) to direct a Hot Wheels movie about a kid who steals his dad’s race car and has to reconcile their relationship. McG left the project in his rearview mirror in 2006 for the greener pastures of, uh, Terminator Salvation. Mega-producer Joel Silver took a crack at it in 2008, but after the Wachowski siblings’ Speed Racer tanked at the box office, he scrapped the idea. In 2011, Legendary negotiated for the rights, and stunt guy Simon Crane came on board to direct in 2013. That didn’t work out, and Fast & Furious director Justin Lin slid into the driver’s seat in 2016 before bailing out. Mattel got the rights back from Legendary and took them to WB last year, and now a new version is in the works.
No director is attached yet, but Robbie Brenner, who produced films like Dallas Buyers Club, Escape Plan, and A Perfect Getaway and was recently hired by Mattel, is on board as a producer. Mattel is also developing a Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: ‘Hot Wheels’ Movie Hires Two Writers, So It’s Really Happening This Time, Right, Guys?…Guys?’
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September 25, 2020