If you’re going to make a blockbuster, why worry about silly little things like plot and characters when the real moneymaker is the merchandise? That’s the most important part of the whole filmmaking process, right? Okay, so that’s not exactly the way movie fans may like to look at tentpole productions, but it is sadly the type of thinking that’s gotten us three Transformers movies, a G.I. Joe picture, a possible Monopoly film (it certainly hasn’t hurt the massive influx of superhero projects either).
Very, very soon, it could be this type of thinking that will get us a Hot Wheels movie as well. That’s right, the little metal cars of your yourth could be coming to the big screen. Legendary Entertainment is currently in negotiations with Mattel to buy up the big screen rights to the toy cars for a blockbuster that would be released through Legendary’s base, Warner Bros. It’s hardly the first time someone has tried to produce a Hot Wheels movie, but considering that the company openly plans to capitalize on the success of Universal’s Fast Five and target the teen/immature adult market, it seems frighteningly close to becoming a reality. Hit the jump for more details.
It’s an odd choice to make a Hot Wheels movie that isn’t even aimed at the ankle biters who actually play with the toys, but according to Variety, that’s exactly what Legendary has in mind. They want to create the dark and edgy Hot Wheels movie that no one wants. Obviously there will be plenty of tie-in toys available, but it doesn’t look as if this is going to be your daddy’s Hot Wheels. Legendary should probably put the names “Michael Bay” and “Brett Ratner” into their speed dial right now. Apparently a few studios have been in talks with Mattel over the rights to the project, but the toy company is leaning towards Legendary because they already had a lucrative relationship with Warner Brothers as a result of their DC comics merchandise (including this week’s Green Lantern) and want to keep the project in the family.
Warner Bros. got quite close to cranking out a Hot Wheels movie before when the property was being developed by super-producer Joel Silver. However, that project was quickly nixed after Silver’s Speed Racer bombed, leaving countless Mattel-manufactured Speed Racer cars collecting dust on toy store shelves. McG even had his own Hot Wheels movie in the works in 2003, which sounds about right. The last producer to try and get his hands on the rights before Legendary stepped in was Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the man also responsible for the aforementioned Transformers and G.I. Joe movies.
If Legendary does in fact purchase the Hot Wheels movie rights, expect a film to actually get made this time. That label is ridiculously successful and if they want a Hot Wheels movie made, it will get made regardless of whether or not anyone actually wants to see it. As much as I like to see cars go boom on the big screen, this just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. I’m sure hundreds of millions of dollars will be made off of the project, but what about all the audience brain cells that will potentially be killed in the process? Shouldn’t we be worried about that?