While an upcoming big-screen movie starring the purple dinosaur Barney might not exactly come to mind when thinking of heavy movies like Everything Everywhere All at Once or Uncut Gems, that’s apparently what its producers are going for.
The in-development movie, to which Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya is attached, will lean “into the millennial angst of the property rather than fine-tuning this for kids,” executive producer Kevin McKeon tells the New Yorker, comparing it to something that might come from the aforementioned films’ independent studio, A24.
He says of the Mattel co-production, “It’s really a play for adults. Not that it’s R-rated, but it’ll focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being thirtysomething, growing up with Barney — just the level of disenchantment within the generation.”
McKeon says the “surreal” project shows toy company Mattel “is here to make art.”
Incidentally, the angsty angle is also a through line in another Mattel movie co-production, Greta Gerwig‘s upcoming Barbie, the trailer for which trumpeted, “If you love Barbie this movie is for you. If you hate Barbie this movie is for you.”
Barney and Friends, which debuted in 1992 — and incidentally at one point starred a very young Selena Gomez — certainly has enough people in both of those camps.
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