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Mattel to enter toy-fueled film market


08-01-2014 11:45 BJT

With the latest "Transformers" film making nearly one billion US Dollars worldwide in a month - and "the Lego Movie" receiving widespread acclaim last year - it's clear that toy-related movies are a boost for the film market. Now, the toy giant behind such brands as "Barbie" and "the Masters of the Universe" has decided to follow the success of Hasbro and Lego, by adapting one of its best-selling products into a movie. Here's a look at Mattel's "Max Steel", a superpowered teenager.

While comic book adaptations are still big business, toy-related movies are proving to be just as big a draw. Following "Transformers", "The Lego Movie", "G.I. Joe" and "Battleship"...Now comes "Max Steel".

American toy giant Mattel has decided to join both the toy spin-off and comic-book movie races by adapting one of its best-selling products, Max Steel toys, originally sold alongside a comic book about the superhero. The Max Steel movie is now in post-production, and looks set to have its US release in the usually quiet month of January, which could make the production stand out at the box office.

"We've been in television for a while. If we are lucky enough to be successful on film a lot of us will look at us as an overnight success story, but we know we've been building our television distribution and production for 15 years with kids' television. We think that if we get that right first properly with Max Steel then we can hopefully have success in features," said Bill O'Down, CEO of Dolphin Entertainment.

The movie has been written by Christopher Yost, who is not only one of the most prominent Marvel comic book writers, but also wrote the screenplay for "Thor: The Dark World".

"Batman, Spiderman, those movies made today are pretty layered. We wanted to try and achieve the same thing with Max Steel, we know we have to be able to get awareness in the marketplace which is why we hired Chris Yost. He's a Marvel veteran who wrote Thor 2, just hired to write Thor 3, worked many years on Avengers and the animated series because you need to have a deep story and a deep mythology to get kids today interested, they want to know that there's more out there than what they're seeing on the screen," Bill said.

This isn't the first time Mattel have tried to launch Max Steel into the mainstream. In 2009, the project was interrupted by the departure of leading actor Taylor Lautner, who rose to fame from the "Twilight" franchises. Now, Mattel sees a new opportunity, and is confident it can stand among the ranks of Marvel, DC Comics, Hasbro and Lego, and introduce a generation of teenagers to a new superhero.

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