We're all just Barbie girls in a Barbie world. Partly it's because our blood is polluted with microplastics BUT ALSO because the new Barbie movie is set to be a box-office smash. The seemingly self-aware colorful comedy from writer/director Greta Gerwig (who's yet to make a non-great movie) and featuring a wildly loaded cast (Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, John Cena and tons more stars) should get audiences out in droves (with tons of film nerds doing the inherently amusing Barbie/Oppenheimer double feature).
It's also totally fair if anyone feels repulsed by the Hollywood franchise machine mining low-hanging nostalgia for mass appeal. And it looks like that trend isn't ending anytime soon. Because of the buzz Barbie has generated pre-release, Mattel reportedly has 45 movies based on its toys in the works. 45. FORTY-FIVE!
Sure, movies adapted from existing toy franchises are nothing new and occasionally great. The Lego Movie is legit one of the best films of the past decade, Clue is a cult classic, and this year's Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was a blast. But for every hit, there are a slew of misses. The G.I. Joe franchise, anyone? Also... THEY MADE A BATTLESHIP MOVIE.
So in order to save us from a cinematic hell of 45 Battleships, here are creative pitches for some of Mattel Cinematic Universe films that have already been announced. And, again, I must emphasize, these are all adaptations actually in the works. For real. These are happening.
The big purple dino's big-screen adventure is being produced by Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya, so why not lean into a psychological horror aspect? Things go crazy when the greedy corporate execs want to stop paying the actors in the costumes and make a deal with a witch to have real talking dinosaurs. But the witch merely turns the actors into their characters, and Barney, Baby Bop and B.J. must figure out how to get their minds back into their human bodies while nobody treats their problem as real because of their cuteness. "I love you / You trapped me..."
A mix of Fantastic Voyage and Toy Story, the tiny Polly Pockets are actually alive and when their benevolent creator falls ill, the miniature gals must venture into the human body to try to cure the ailment and save Polly Pockets from going the way of the dodo.
ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS
Am I crazy or didn't we already make this movie? Real Steel? The 2011 Hugh Jackman fighting robots movie? Anybody? Anybody? (Just re-release it and see if anyone notices.)
The Muppets : Muppet Babies :: Rounders : Uno
MAGIC 8 BALL
Another obvious horror film. A group of ragtag teens stumble across a cursed Magic 8 Ball at a thrift store that actually works. Anytime they ask it a yes-or-no question and give it a shake, its response will happen... but with monkey paw-like results. Will my crush ask me to prom... "Without a doubt"... where the scaffolding will fall and crush you both. Will my parents ever get off my back... "Signs point to yes"... as they are framed for a gruesome murder committed by a crazed man trying to get the 8 ball back. "Outlook not so good" indeed.
When rowdy boys in the neighborhood overrun the treehouse of two BFFs, the young ladies must do a Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure-esque journey through time to recruit an elite team of American girls to help take back their clubhouse.
A single photographer shot every picture for all the View-Master slide wheels, and we follow him on his oddball adventures. Obviously, Wes Anderson directs.
Just a straight-up adaptation of comedian Sarah Silverman's memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. (Because I am terrified of other potential directions a movie about a pissing doll could take.)
THOMAS THE TANK ENGINEAll I know is this should be written in-character by Lemon, Brian Tyree Henry's Thomas-obsessed assassin from Bullet Train.
Turn the tiny toy cars into the Fast and Furious franchise but for kids (i.e., you have to make it more intelligent and less cartoonish). ♦
Barbie opens in theaters on July 21.