Paramount and Mattel are teaming with producer Joe Roth to bring “Max Steel” back to life. According to Variety Mattel is hoping to re-launch “Max Steel”, the 12-inch toy line from about 10 years back that never really caught on with American consumers, on American toy shelves. And what is the first thing you need to reintroduce a forgotten toy line? Well, a movie couldn’t hurt…
In case you missed the whole “Max Steel” thing, let me fill you in on the basics. The property began as an action figure but was quickly picked up by fledgling CGI studio Netter Digital as an animated series. The protagonist of said series, a 19 year-old extreme sports athlete named Josh McGrath, became a secret agent after an accident at his father’s lab left him with super powers – that’s a twist you didn’t see coming, did you?
As the powerful “Max Steel”, McGrath traveled the world fighting terrorists – a plot device that became less cool after September 11th, 2001. A second and third season of new, mutant monster villains couldn’t save the expensive series and it disappeared from the air waves – with the action figures following suit not long after.
In these days when almost any toy property is deemed worthy of the feature film treatment, studios have had worse ideas than a “Max Steel” resurrection onscreen – “Ouija Board: The Movie” comes immediately to mind. For starters, the “Max Steel” line is still a huge seller for Mattel in Latin America. Who knew, right? After the animated series went off the air stateside in 2002 Max went on to star in 4 DVD features in Mexico and South America – only one of which was available in the US.
Then there is the fact that the “Max Steel” toys were pretty cool for their time – not to mention the fact that their brief lifespan has made them a desirable collectable all these years later. And now that fighting terrorists is once again acceptable, what could possibly go wrong?
We’ll see how Paramount feels about this proposed “Max Steel” movie after their “GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra” hits in a couple of weeks. Until then, producer Joe Roth (“XXX”, “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army”) is looking for a screenwriter and director who can avoid making “Max Steel” an over-priced, over-hyped flop for a second time.