Since the ‘40s, the Slinky has been a staple children’s toy to watch scoot down staircases or teach young ones a thing or two about the power of momentum and gravity. In the ‘90s, the toy saw a resurgence when Pixar animation introduced Woody’s pal, Slinky Dog to the Toy Story movies, who has continued to remain prominent (and most recently controversial) three more films and a handful of shorts later. Now it's been announced a Slinky movie is in the works with director of Billy Madison and Half Baked, Tamra Davis, on board to helm. But, no... the lovably dry-humored puppy slinky toy is not getting a shot at the spotlight over at Pixar.
Per the Variety report, the movie titled Slinky will center on the wife of Slinky inventor Richard James, Betty James, after she inherits the toy business following his death. Richard James died of congestive heart failure at the age of 60 during a time when business on Slinky was in a rough patch, teetering on bankruptcy. Betty James was left with rights to the toy and six children to support at the time in 1974. The movie will tell Davis’ story of struggle-turned-success story as she navigates a man’s world and makes the toy a hot item.
Tamra Davis is directing a script written by Chris Sivertson, Ann Carli and Cristina Curbelo. The Slinky movie is heading into production at the beginning of 2021. Speaking about the project, Davis said,
When I read her story I was so inspired by the ups and downs of their rags to riches tale. I had no idea the iconic toy told the story of American innovation, domestic drama and the rise of the female executive. Betty James’ life is a moment in American history where women proved they could not only survive in the face of despair but flourish when the opportunity presented itself. I immediately connected with Betty James. She was an intrepid woman who’s goal in life was to create joy and make people happy.
Comparisons to David O. Russell’s Joy certainly comes to mind with this news of the Slinky movie. The Jennifer Lawrence-led film led to the Hunger Games’ actor nabbing her fourth Oscar nomination and saw her playing Joy Mangano, the inventor and entrepreneur behind the Miracle Mop. One would imagine Slinky will tackle some of the same topics Joy did, albeit while set in a very different era.
Considering Tamra Davis’ history on the comedy front (most memorably with one of Adam Sandler’s most beloved films) and the fact that the popular toy is quite a goofy product to stake one’s income on, one can imagine that Slinky will have its lighter moments and funny scenes. The casting process, which will probably begin soon, will be interesting to watch.