Mattel struck gold – or pink – with “Barbie,” which was the first major feature film to come from the toy company and made nearly $1.5 billion worldwide, becoming the biggest movie of 2023 and racking up eight Oscar nominations earlier this week.
Now, CNN has learned that Mattel hopes to maintain that momentum with a cinematic adaptation of another kids’ character: Bob the Builder. An animated movie based on the long-running animated children’s series is in development, with Jennifer Lopez attached to executive produce and “In the Heights” star Anthony Ramos set to voice the beloved titular cartoon contractor.
In the animated movie, Roberto “Bob” travels to Puerto Rico for a major construction job, takes on issues affecting the island and digs deeper into what it means to build, according to a press release from Mattel. This new take on “Bob the Builder” will “celebrate the vibrant and colorful textures of the Caribbean Latin nations and their people.”
Aside from voicing Bob the Builder, Ramos will also serve as a producer. In a statement, Ramos said that the movie will focus on friends working together and how love can help conquer any obstacle.
“For years, Bob the Builder’s characters have inspired young people around the world,” the actor said, noting that he will bring “elements of life that are inspired by my own” into the film.
Lopez will produce through her production company, Nuyorican Productions, along with her producing partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina.
The “Bob the Builder” television series ran in worldwide syndication for over a decade in the early aughts, and is known for its popular catchphrase, “Can we fix it? Yes, we can!”
“Bob the Builder” is the first animated theatrical movie to come from Mattel, but following the huge success of “Barbie,” the company has plans to bring more toys to the big screen, with films based on everything from American Girl dolls and Magic 8 Ball to “Masters of the Universe” and the card game UNO in the works, according to their release.
A Mattel source also says the company is developing a “Hot Wheels” movie with J.J. Abrams, “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” with Vin Diesel, “Barney” with Daniel Kaluuya, “Polly Pocket” from Lena Dunham with star Lily Collins and “Major Matt Mason” starring Tom Hanks.
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