Following the huge success of “Barbie” this summer, Mattel Films, Paramount, and Temple Hill Entertainment are moving on to another popular doll line: American Girl. The film will be produced by all three studios, with distribution handled by Paramount.
The trio announced a live-action feature film based on the historical dolls, with ‘Pet Sematary: Bloodlines’ director Lindsey Anderson Beer set to direct and write the screenplay. According to a source close to the project, talks began prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
American Girl dolls: Queen of millennial hearts
The American Girl dolls, which feature a trove of young ladies from different historical eras ranging from the Great Depression to the founding of America, are still immensely popular today and hold a special place in the hearts of millennial women. Aside from the dolls and their various accessories, each came with a book that detailed the character’s backstory and place in history. Their most recent dolls focused on millennial and 2000s-era females.
“With millions of devoted fans, American Girl is a beloved franchise rich in history and storytelling.” For decades, the brand has captured hearts through dolls, books, live experiences, and television movies. “We are thrilled to build on Mattel Films’ momentum by working with Paramount Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, and Lindsey Anderson Beer to bring American Girl to the big screen,” said Robbie Brenner, President of Mattel Films, in a prepared statement.
“American Girl were our favourite”, says Director Beer:
“Growing up, my sister and I were American Girl girls. I had Kirsten, and she had Molly. They didn’t feel like dolls to play with, rather real people whose worlds we got to imagine ourselves in,” said director Beer. “They are historically accurate toys and accessories that feature elaborate and immersive backstories uniquely suited to bring to screen. I am so excited to tell a story that tackles the issues of girlhood in a real and compelling way, and proud to partner with Mattel Films, Paramount Pictures, and Temple Hill to create the American Girl movie I have wanted to see since childhood.”
Mattel clearly wants to stay in the toy business. Mattel Films was actively developing films based on toys ranging from Major Matt Mason to Hot Wheels as of July 2023. They are currently working on a “Masters of the Universe” reboot with “The Lost City” filmmakers Adam and Aaron Nee. Lena Dunham is currently working on a Polly Pocket film starring Lily Collins, and actor Daniel Kaluuya is developing an A24-style Barney the dinosaur film.