Who among us didn’t play with Hot Wheels as kids and pretend that they were real cars as they skittered across the kitchen floor? With a few pieces of diecast metal, you could play out the nuttiest car chases and stunts that a child’s brain could conjure. Soon, those reenactments might be happening on the big screen, as parent company Mattel and Warner Bros. Pictures have just announced a Hot Wheels movie.
There’s not much information yet, but a press release issued by the two companies says, “The high-throttle action film will bring to life this beloved, multi-generational franchise and showcase some of the world’s hottest and sleekest cars, monster trucks and motorcycles.” We also know that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, responsible for the recent Star Wars, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises, will have a hand in its making.
It’s hard to imagine what a Hot Wheels movie might entail, but since the property has no inherent story attached, the possibilities are endless. One thing we do know is that will be live-action. That means it’ll be unlikely to see cars coming to life, like in Pixar’s Cars franchise, or a meta story about kids immersing themselves in a Hot Wheels world, as in The Lego Movie.
In the past, Hot Wheels has created a cast of drivers to go with the cars, as in the 2003 series Highway 35 World Race and its 2005 spinoff, Hot Wheels AcceleRacers. Another series called Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 was produced from 2009-11. These were animated, however, allowing for stories involving aliens and trans-dimensional races. Perhaps the World’s Best Driver movie, based on a Hot Wheels-branded video game and featuring a cameo by Mario Andretti, gives a hint at what to expect.
Mattel actually has a number of films in development based on its other toy brands. In 2023, a Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie is scheduled to hit theaters. In addition, Mattel Films says it’s developing movies based on American Girl, Masters of the Universe, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and Thomas & Friends, as well as toys such as Magic 8 Ball, UNO, and View Master.
Some of those sound rather dubious, but if Hot Wheels can bring some exciting car action to the big screen, we’ll be here for it.