Despite the vitriol spewed at the Transformers movies, they’ve made DreamWorks and Paramount money – a lot of money. So maybe it should come as no surprise that, following a film franchise for G.I. Joe, a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots look-alike (Real Steel), and a Battleship movie, a Hot Wheels film is in the works, and with the addition of director Simon Crane, is moving towards production.
Hot Wheels would be Crane’s first feature in the director’s chair, but he’s hardly a neophyte. Crane broke into the movies in the ’80s as a stunt actor, and worked his way up to stunts coordinator and 2nd unit director. Recent credits include both 2nd unit and stunt work on World War Z, Salt, and Hancock. The project will be produced by the ever-growing Legendary Pictures, which launched in 2005 with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins but has rapidly become an industry leader.
Hot Wheels aren’t the only toys or games of questionable narrative merit which are looking at a big-screen adaptation; a Stretch Armstrong movie was just cancelled, but classic games properties like Monopoly and Candy Land are still in development, as are newer IPs such as an adaptation of the popular mobile game Angry Birds.
With quality lacking in toy adaptations thus far, it’s unclear if this trend will have legs; the most successful films (Transformers and G.I. Joe) were working off interest already generated in animated TV shows. Angry Birds, for one, employs narrative cutscenes the game, but translating the puzzle gameplay in which birds are slingshot across the screen into something resembling a character driven narrative strikes us as a challenge. Hot Wheels, meanwhile, may struggle to differentiate itself in a glut of extreme racing movies that includes the Fast and the Furious franchise and an upcoming Need for Speed movie.
Then again, this is pretty cool, so maybe it will work: