Magic 8 Ball: Mattel Films is aiming to make a PG-13 thriller

Mattel Films says their horror comedy movie based on the Magic 8 Ball toy will be aiming for a PG-13 rating

A few weeks ago, in the build-up to the release of the Mattel Films production Barbie (read our review HERE), The New Yorker published an article about the fact that Mattel is “raiding its entire toybox” to find products to turn into movies – for example, J.J. Abrams is working on Hot Wheels, Vin Diesel is plotting Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Daniel Kaluuya is making Barney movie, Tom Hanks will star in Major Matt Mason (author Michael Chabon has written the treatment), a script is being written for American Girl, etc. From that article, we learned that Cocaine Bear screenwriter Jimmy Warden has been writing a horror comedy inspired by Mattel’s toy Magic 8 Ball. Yes, the ball that you ask questions and then turn over to see which of twenty possible answers you might get. Now Variety has put together an article where Mattel gives information on their upcoming projects – and in that article, Robbie Brenner, the head of Mattel Films, says the Magic 8 Ball movie will “probably be a PG-13 thriller.”

This is no surprise, as Mattel Films has promised that none of their movies will be rated R. Brenner previously told The New Yorker that while the Magic 8 Ball script “walks the line a little bit“, they’re not going to “make anything that feels violent, or that is alienating to families. We want to stay within the parameters of what Mattel is.

The Magic 8 Ball movie was first announced four years ago, and at the time it was said that Blumhouse Productions and director Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare, Fantasy Island) were teaming up to make the film. Wadlow was working on the screenplay with his Truth or Dare and Fantasy Island collaborators Jillian Jacobs and Christopher Roach. It’s not clear whether or not Blumhouse or Wadlow are still involved, but it sounds like whatever they came up with in 2019 has been set aside in favor of the Warden draft.

When the project was first announced, Brenner said, “Since the 1950s, Magic 8 Ball has inspired imagination, suspense and intrigue across generations. This iconic toy has a built-in connection with fans and untapped potential for storytelling.

We’ll have to wait and see if a PG-13 thriller / horror comedy inspired the Magic 8 Ball can turn out to be a good movie. Even if it does, it’s probably not destined to be the sort of pop culture sensation Barbie has become. But while we wait to see how it goes with the movie, the Magic 8 Ball toy itself is in stock on Amazon.

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