Watch Your Back, Fast & Furious: The Hot Wheels Movie Is Back On, And With Major Star Wars Talent Attached

Car fleeing attacking helicopters in F9
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

When it comes to blockbusters that revolve around cars, the Fast & Furious franchise has reigned supreme for over two decades now. However, for years there have been attempts to get a live-action Hot Wheels movie off the ground, and now the project based on the popular Mattel toyline has picked up steam. This is thanks to J.J. Abrams, who directed two of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy movies, now being involved in Hot Wheels’ development.

Mattel Films and Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Bad Robot Productions, J.J. Abrams’ production company, will produce the Hot Wheels movie. No plot details were revealed, but per the official announcement, the movie will “bring to life this beloved, multi-generational franchise and showcase some of the world’s hottest and sleekest cars, monster trucks and motorcycles.” Here’s what Robbie Brenner, Executive Producer of Mattel Films, had to say about Abrams and Bad Robot coming along for the Hot Wheels ride.

As the global leader in car culture, Hot Wheels has been igniting the challenger spirit in auto enthusiasts for generations. Fans of all ages are now in for the ride of their lives with the incredible talent of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot joining us alongside Warner Bros. Pictures to transform Hot Wheels’ legendary IP into a thrilling story for the big screen.

While it doesn’t sound like J.J. Abrams will be sitting in the director’s chair for Hot Wheels, this is yet another major property that Bad Robot has gotten its hands on. Among the production company’s other forthcoming endeavors include HBO Max’s Justice League Dark series, the Superman movie Ta-Nehisi Coaties is writing, Star Trek 4 and the film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! that Jon Chu is attached to direct. As far as his directorial work goes, Abrams has operated in the sci-fi realm for more than a decade now through Star Trek, Super 8, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. I’m curious to see what kind of stamp Bad Robot puts on the Hot Wheels property for its theatrical debut.

A Hot Wheels movie has been in development in one form or another since 2003, when Columbia Pictures held the film rights and had lined up McG to direct. Another iteration of the project saw Justin Lin signing on to direct back in 2016 when his production company Perfect Storm Entertainment acquired it, but since he’s back to directing Fast & Furious movies, it’s safe to say he’s no longer attached to Hot Wheels. Mattel Films and Warner Bros. partnered up on Hot Wheels back in early 2019, and while it was reported in September 2020 that Neil Widener and Gavin James were writing the script, it’s unclear if their screenplay is what will be filmed or if new writers are being sought out.

Hot Wheels marks the second upcoming collaboration between Mattel Films and Warner Bros., as the companies are also teaming for the Margot Robbie-led Barbie movie, which Greta Gerwig is directing and co-wrote with Noah Baumbach. Other upcoming Mattel-related movies include Masters of the Universe (which has been moved to Netflix), the Vin Diesel-led Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Barney and Wishbone. Mattel Films is also developing Christmas Balloon, which is based on all-new IP.

It’ll likely be a long time until Hot Wheels races into theaters, but with the main Fast & Furious film series wrapping up, this Mattel offering can easily fill its spot afterwards delivering high octane thrills to moviegoing audiences. Browse through the 2022 movie releases to learn what’s hitting the big screen in the near future.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.