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J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot to produce live-action Hot Wheels movie

Lay down some orange track, the Hot Wheels movie is apparently happening

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A Hot Wheels car
A Hot Wheels car
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Hot Wheels seems like an easy thing to turn into a movie. There’s no mythology to worry about, no characters to try and “get right,” and no pressure to live up to anyone’s expectations about what a Hot Wheels story “should” be. You just do a thing with cars, call it Hot Wheels, and wait for the money to roll in. Oh sure, you could have, like, an orange track somewhere as a little treat, and maybe a car that looks like something else but is still mostly a car, but… eh.

And yet Hollywood—the people who turned Battleship into an alien invasion movie—have struggled to make a Hot Wheels movie happen. Last we heard, way back in the innocent days of early 2019, was that Warner Bros. had reclaimed the movie rights to the toy car brand after trying (and failing) to get a Hot Wheels movie on track years earlier, and now it seems like the company is actually doing something with those rights (some 50 years or so after Johnny Hotwheel first glued pennies to a potato, inventing the first Hot Wheels car).


Deadline says that J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot studio will produce “a live-action Hot Wheels film” with Mattel Films and Warner Bros., with the story saying it’ll be a “high-throttle actioner” featuring “some of the world’s hottest and sleekest cars, monster trucks, and motorcycles.” Like we said: Just do a thing with cars and call it Hot Wheels. What else do you need?

It doesn’t sound like Abrams himself is involved too closely, meaning there’s no need to make a joke about someone asking a car for its full first and last name, to which the car responds “Hot Wheels Skywalker” as if that means something, but the fact that Bad Robot is working on this means there’s a non-zero chance that this ends up being a secret Cloverfield movie. Maybe it’s just a totally normal high-throttle actioner, but then the movie ends with a car zooming at the screen and you see that its license plate says “CLVRFLD”? That’d be cool.