- Barney & Friends, the beloved children’s show, is getting a reboot in 2024, but it won’t be just for kids. The script is said to focus on the trials of being a disillusioned millennial.
- Fans have raised concerns about the direction of the reboot. However, Mattel CEO assures that the movie will not be odd and will be fun, entertaining, and culturally oriented.
- The success of Mattel’s previous blockbuster, Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is seen as inspiration for the upcoming Barney reboot. While the Barney movie won’t be easy to make, it has the potential for commercial success.
Remember everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur? Yes, Barney. Well, it was announced earlier this year, that a reimagining of the kids’ favorite show of Barney & Friends would be coming in 2024. Titled Barney, the reboot would be produced by Daniel Kaluuya. With the original series ending in 2018, the purple dinosaur was a staple in the lives of kids born in the 90s and the early 2000s. Given how family friendly the original series was, it was safe to assume that the upcoming reimagined version would tow a similar path. However, those assumptions have been tossed in the air following comments from Mattel Films executive Kevin McKeon in July that the script was similar to an A24 movie.
At the time, McKeon explained what fans can expect from the movie, stating, “We’re leaning into the Millennial angst of the property rather than fine-tuning this for kids. 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 30-something, growing up with Barney — just the level of disenchantment within the generation.”
In a bid clarify what audiences can expect from the upcoming project, Mattel CEO Ynon Kriez has weighed into the conversation and pointing out that the movie “will not be odd.” Speaking with Semafor recently, Kriez said, “That one is getting a lot of reaction. It’s too early to be specific, but I can tell you we are taking a fresh approach that will be fun, entertaining, and culturally oriented. It will not be an odd movie.”
Testing the Legacy of ‘Barney’
Plans for the upcoming live-action reboot were initially hatched in 2019, and while doubts had risen over the years, it is lovely to know the purple dinosaur will be returning to our screens. Speaking at the time of the announcement, Kaluuya had revealed he sought to find out if Barney’s message can ‘stand the test of time.’ The Nope and Black Panther actor said, “Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”
Making a Barney movie is certainly not going to be straightforward. However, just like with Mattel’s delivery on Barbie, it is a feat that can be pulled off and still gain commercial success. Starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, the blockbuster lived up to the anticipation, even surpassing the billion dollar mark at the box office. Mattel Films will be looking at the success as inspiration for whatever they intend to do with Barney.