By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Famed director Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond, Fast & Furious movies) is the perfect choice to adapt Mattel’s Hot Wheels toy line for the big screen. Usually, I get critical over big names, but when considering how successful he has turned the latter into one freewheeling and adrenalin pumping action franchise, this news sounds really good. He will not only develop, produce and direct the film but also have the option (with his Perfect Storm Entertainment company) to co-finance the movie, as reported by The Wrap.
Will his idea take away from what Mattel’s product is? Most likely not. There’s no established core theme/mythology to these toys. I played with these miniature cars — admittedly by putting firecrackers under them and using them in Steve Jackson‘s tabletop game, Car Wars — but I’m guessing the live-action deal will have some form of explosions too. When considering how he’s propelled Fast and the Furious, I’m betting there will be a lot of fun involving race cars, regular vehicles and roadsters clambering for a lot of screen time. The product placement can potentially be through the roof, and I’m betting Nascar or Formula One will somehow be involved. To turn this movie into something like The Wachowski’s Speed Racer or even borrow from either PIXAR’s Cars or DreamWorks T.U.R.B.O. will not surprise me. I really hope the team will do their research and offer a different kind of tale.
While the deal is signed, no writer has been announced or ideas offered to press at the time of writing.
No word is offered as to when this treatment will make it to screen. Lin is currently involved with several projects. According to the Internet Movie Database, he’s producing a Bourne film, Space Jam 2 and Highlander. Groan as some may for another film, but honestly there is only one to love. Most movie watchers will have to wait and see, but to go to the races will have this roadrunner beeping for getting this film fast-tracked.