‘Star Trek Beyond,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ director takes the keys to Hot Wheels movie

Mattel Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car
Making a movie based on one of the most popular toy car lines in the world takes a special kind of filmmaker, and Mattel might have found one in Fast and Furious franchise director Justin Lin.

Lin, who also directed this year’s Star Trek Beyond, has reportedly finalized a deal to develop, direct, and produce a movie based on Mattel’s Hot Wheels line of toy cars. He’s expected to take the project — which has been in development for more than a decade now — back to the drawing board with a new writer and creative team.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Hot Wheels movie won’t be Lin’s next film, as Mattel and Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment production company plan to wipe the slate clean on the project, which has been shuffled through a long list of directors and writers over the years. There’s no word on what sort of story Lin and the film’s creative team are hoping to tell in the film, but given the subject matter and Lin’s involvement, it’s a safe bet that there won’t be a shortage of fast cars and wild action sequences.

Lin is the latest filmmaker to take on the Hot Wheels movie, following Terminator Salvation director McG and Simon Crane, who served as the second unit director on the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Development on the film dates all the way back to 2003, when Mattel first pursued a feature film based on the toy line.

Originally intended to be a line of toys that offered modified versions of real-life cars to compete with the more grounded Matchbox toy line, Hot Wheels debuted in 1968 and went on to become the most popular line of toy cars in the world. The two lines competed for fans among both children and adult collectors until 1997, when Mattel bought the company that owned the Matchbox toy line. According to Mattel, nine million Hot Wheels cars are sold every week.

Still well behind Hasbro in terms of the company’s big-screen crossover projects, Mattel has one of its biggest projects hitting theaters soon: a live-action Max Steel movie based on its popular line of action figures. The company also has movies based on its Masters of the Universe and Barbie toy lines in development.

There’s no timeline for the Hot Wheels movie at this point.

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