First made as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s, a modeling compound known as Play-Doh is soon coming to a theater near you, according to a recent report in Deadline. Hasbro and entertainmenttmentOne (eOne) announced on March 17 that they were setting up a modeling clay animated feature film. Written by the author of The big sick, Emily V. Gordon, it will be produced (and possibly directed) by Jon M. Chu, best known as the director of 2018’s boobies rich asian.
Play-Doh is the number one arts and crafts toy brand sold in over 80 countries. “The team is looking forward to bringing audiences a malleable, malleable, flavorful story about the importance of the imagination,” Chu and Gordon told Deadline.
Gordon, married to Eternals actor Kumail Nanjiani, best known as the producer and screenwriter of the Oscar-nominated original screenplay The big sick, loosely based on the couple’s relationship. She also co-created Apple TV+ Little America. On Thursday the 17th Marcy, Gordon tweeted, “Jon and I had a series of conversations about creativity, imagination and the purpose of art that were so fun and juicy I knew I had to. I’ll to be able to use some of my training as a play therapist too, maybe…”
Chu made the first major Hollywood film to feature a predominantly Asian cast in a modern setting since 1993 Joy of Luck club. He is also known as the director of 2021 In the heights and 2015 Jem and the holograms. Chu also has other experience directing toy-based films, having directed GI Joe: Retaliation. According to People, on her instagram storyChu said, “How cool that I get to play with @emilyvgordon and the rest of our #ElectricSomewhere team for this lively event!!”
When marketing meets cinema
Hasbro first wanted to bring Play-Doh to the big screen in 2015. That year, Hasbro Studios and 20th Century Fox announced they were working on a film based on the multi-colored, moldable compound and Hasbro subsidiary Allspark Pictures and Chernin Entertainment were producing. The 2015 modeling clay the film was going to be directed by Bridesmaids and To spy director Paul Feig through his production company Feigco, with Jason Micallef penning the screenplay. Now eOne is teaming up with Gordon and Chu to relaunch the modeling clay film.
This becomes the latest example of branded products making it to the big screen. People mocked Warner Brothers for producing The Lego Movie. But starring Phil Lord, Chris Miller and an incredibly talented cast for the $60 million movies, it grossed $658 million worldwide and got a fantastic sequel and spinoff, thanks to Will Arnett’s role as first Emo Batman (sorry, Robert Pattinson, but Lego Batman came first).
There is also 1988 Mac and me, which is much maligned and known to be one of the worst films ever made due to the blatant placement of Coca-Cola and McDonald’s products throughout the film. Although this movie even has a good side (and it’s not just the movie Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode), it also has to do with its place in the history of cinema for the disabled. Mac and me was a “huge deal” in 1988 because “it marked one of the few times in the history of cinema where a disabled actor had obtained a role for a character who was not “written disabled” and whose disability was not transformed as a character trait or plot determining element.”
What will be the modeling clay movie bring to the table? Lance Johnson and Jane Lee will oversee the new modeling clay film at Chu’s Electric Somewhere banner. Gordon will also serve as executive producer. She is joined by eOne’s Jillian Share, Chanel Vidal and Steven Holster.
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