Daniel Kaluuya Is Producing A Live-Action Barney Movie And His Reason Is Actually Awesome

Barney the dinosaur

If you grew up during the 1990s or 2000s, then chances are Barney & Friends played on your television at least once, if not a lot of times. Even though that series ended in 2009, the title dinosaur remains one of the most famous children’s show characters, and plans are in motion for him to appear on the big screen next. Among the people who are involved with putting the Barney movie together is Get Out and Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya, who’s one of the producers.

Barney and Daniel Kaluuya might sound like a weird pairing at first, but while recently plugging his upcoming movie Judas and the Black Messiah, the actor gave an awesome explanation for why he’s producing a Barney movie. In his words to EW:

Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ That’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when that isn’t true? I thought that was really heartbreaking. I have no idea why but it feels like that makes sense. It feels like there’s something unexpected that can be poignant but optimistic. Especially at this time now, I think that’s really, really needed.

Daniel Kaluuya was born in 1989, so naturally he was the prime age demographic Barney & Friends was targeting in its earliest years. But even after all this time, the show’s message still resonates with Kaluuya, both on a surface and deeper level. And with the way things are in the world right now, the actor’s correct that it doesn’t hurt to deliver a project that promotes optimism, which is often in short supply these days.

This upcoming Barney movie won’t be the first time the eponymous dinosaur has appeared in a cinematic setting. That honor belongs to 1998’s Barney’s Great Adventure, which saw Barney and three young children embarking on a journey to return a magical egg to the barn it came from before it hatches. Barney’s Great Adventure was met with mostly negative critical reception, so the chances of Daniel Kaluuya’s Barney movie faring better are reasonably strong.

What will be interesting to see is if Mattel Films’ upcoming Barney movie will be primarily directed at kids, or if it will take a more Pixar-like approach and strike a balance that appeals to youths and adults alike. Judging by Daniel Kaluuya’s comment, it sounds like he wants the core message of the original TV series to be explored on multiple levels, which would be a prime argument to the latter creative path. Plus, many of the people who watched Barney as kids are now adults with kids of their own, so this movie can easily mix in nostalgia with plenty of new elements.

There’s no word yet on when Barney will begin filming, let alone when it’ll hit the big screen. It’s also unclear if Daniel Kaluuya will only be producing the movie or if he’ll also act in it, but either way, it sounds like this project means a lot to him, and passion can play a key role in ensuring a movie is the best product possible.

Should any other major updates concerning the Barney movie come in, the CinemaBlend team will keep you apprised of them. For now, keep track of the movies that are supposed to be released in theaters in the near future with our 2021 release schedule.

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.