Daniel Kaluuya is taking Barney to the next level.
The Oscar winner will star in and produce an upcoming live-action film adaptation of the children’s TV show. However, there is a tonal twist to the project, as teased by Mattel Films executive Kevin McKeon.
“We’re leaning into the millennial angst of ownership rather than perfecting it for children. It really is a game for adults,” McKeon said The New Yorker. “Not that he’s R-rated, but it’s going to focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being in your 30s, growing up with Barney—just the level of disenchantment within the generation.”
McKeon described the film as a “surrealistic” “A24” story, similar to the respective works of Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze. “It would be so bold of us,” McKeon said, “and really point out that we’re here to make art.”
Lead star Kaluuya previously said Entertainment Weekly in 2020 who wanted to focus on the “heartbreaking” aspects of Barney.
“Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too? It’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when it’s not? Kaluuya said. “I thought it was really heartbreaking. I have no idea why, but it seems to make sense. There seems to be something unexpected that can be heartwarming yet optimistic. Especially right now, I think it’s really, really necessary.
Mattel Films will release the feature film “Barbie” this summer, which features references to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “The Matrix” and other classic films. As the trailer captures, Barbie (Margot Robbie) has an existential crisis that forces her to step into the real world and leave Barbieland in a reverse Genesis storyline. Mattel also has projects with Lena Dunham, Tom Hanks, Jimmy Warden and Ridley Scott.