Mattel’s “Hot Wheels” are racing to the big screen, courtesy of “Star Trek Beyond” director Justin Lin, who knows a thing or two about keeping things "Fast and Furious."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment has picked up the project, which as been stuck in development hell for over a decade. Columbia initially acquired the rights to “Hot Wheels” in 2003 and “Terminator Salvation's” McG was once set to direct, but that film never left the starting line. The rights then went to Legendary Pictures with Simon Crane attached to direct, but that project also stalled and has been sitting idle since 2014.
Lin -- who will develop, produce and direct the film -- will scrap all previous work on the project and go back to the drawing board. Perfect Storm's first priority is finding new writer to put the project back into gear.
While Lin is no stranger to directing and producing franchises, "Hot Wheels" will be the first time he starts one. He famously took over the “Fast and Furious” franchise's third installment -- 2006’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” -- and then went on to direct three more sequels, helping make the series Universal’s highest grossing franchise of all time with nearly $4 billion dollars in ticket sales.
Lin also directed “Star Trek Beyond,” the third installment in J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the science fiction classic. Although the film failed to meet box office expectations, it opened to generally favorable reviews, with some critics saying it felt like an extended episode of the original series.
“Hot Wheels” are among the world’s most recognizable toys; the miniature cars and their zany tracks have been a fixture of playrooms for decades. Mattel claims that “it is the best selling toy in the world, with more than 5 billion toy cars produced since 1968." The cars are as popular today as they were nearly 50 years ago. The company manufactures “nine million cars every week and sells ten every second.”
“Hot Wheels” is in the very early stages of development and won't be Lin’s next film. His production company is working on a number of properties, including ‘Space Jam 2’ and four television projects.
Mattel has been very active in Hollywood, too, with live-action films based on “Barbie,” “Masters of the Universe” and “Monsters High” currently in development. “Max Steel,” based on the company’s line of popular action figures, opens on October 14.
Justin Lin’s “Star Trek Beyond” arrives on Digital HD October 4, while the Blu-ray/DVD hits stores on November 1.