Following the recent announcement of a Barbie movie, Mattel and Hollywood are continuing to plumb the depths of ’90s nostalgia for new projects. The latest childhood character coming to the big screen? Well, that would be the lovable Barney the Dinosaur.
Through his beloved and long-running TV show, Barney & Friends, the purple Tyrannosaurus rex taught young ones lessons about friendship, teamwork, and creativity using song and dance. The character was also known for his famed “Barney Bag” of surprises that encouraged the importance of imagination. Based on early quotes from those involved, it seems the new film will be a modernized version of Barney, while still retaining some of the ’90s magic that made him so popular.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” Kaluuya commented in a statement. “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.”
Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner added, “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations. “The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
Kaluuya will serve as a producer via his recently launched 59% production company, alongside Rowan Riley, Amandla Crichlow, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen and Valparaiso’s Bobby Hoppey. The project doesn’t yet have a studio onboard, and there are no details regarding the cast; the man who used to play Barney on TV actually now runs a tantric sex business.
Barney follows in the footsteps of Warner Bros.’ new Barbie movie, which has Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig, and Noah Baumbach attached. Kaluuya, meanwhile, will next appear in Lena Waithe’s Queen & Slim, which opens in theaters November 27th.
Revisit Barney’s memorable “I Love You” song: