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Neil Widener and Gavin James Set to Pen Hot Wheels Movie Adaptation

Neil Widener and Gavin James set to pen Hot Wheels movie adaptation

After over 17 years of resting in development hell, the film adaptation of Mattel’s long-running toy line Hot Wheels is finally gaining some ground as Warner Bros. has tapped rising scribes Neil Widener and Gavin James to write the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Plot details for the film are currently being kept close to the chest, but sources report that the story treatment the duo delivered to the studio was so effective it won them the gig ahead of “several more established players” who submitted spec scripts to the studio.

Warner Bros. and Mattel first entered into a partnership in January 2019 for the live-action project, which had shuffled around Hollywood for over 15 years at that point, first beginning at Columbia Pictures with McG (The Babysitter: Killer Queen) set to direct before heading to WB in a co-production between the studios and having Matt Nix (Burn Notice, The Gifted) set to write, only for that iteration to also be thrown into turnaround.

Legendary Entertainment would subsequently obtain the rights to the iconic car brand in June 2011 and were eyeing Simon Crane (Men in Black 3) and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) as the frontrunners for possible directors and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Morbius, Uncharted) set to pen the script with a Mission:Impossible and Fast Five tone. Justin Lin (Star Trek Beyond, F9) would later sign on to direct but after four years of a lack of progress, it would once again die and have the rights revert to Mattel, with Robbie Brenner currently attached to produce the new project.

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Widener and James have yet to have a script be produced for the big screen but they have been attached to pen the script for the sequel to the Dwayne Johnson-led disaster pic San Andreas as well as originally being set to scribe Now You See Me 3 before it languished in development and Lionsgate would tap Eric Warren Singer (Top Gun: Maverick) for the position earlier this year.