Move over, “Barbie” – Mattel announces plans for American Girl doll movie

Another movie based on a doll could hit the big screen: Toy company Mattel is developing a live-action movie based on its American Girl Doll line.

The announcement comes in the wake of “Barbie” film, which grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide and was the highest-grossing film of the year. Lindsey Anderson Beer, who wrote and produced “Sierra Burgess is a Loser” and directed “Pet Sematary: Bloodlines,” is set to produce and write the screenplay for the American Girl doll movie.

“Growing up, my sister and I were all-American girls. I had Kirsten and she had Molly,” Anderson Beer said in the announcement Wednesday. “They didn’t feel like dolls to play with, rather real people whose worlds we got to imagine ourselves in. They’re historically accurate toys and accessories that have elaborate and immersive backstories uniquely suited to bring to the screen .”

First launched in 1986, the beloved 18-inch dolls have names and backstories that were simultaneously published as novels.
Kirstenwho comes in an 1854 outfit, is a Swedish immigrant living in Minnesota, according to The Changnon Family Museum of Toys & Collectibles. Molly lived with his family in Jefferson, Illinois during World War II. Her father cared for wounded soldiers and her mother worked for the Red Cross.

The two were some of the first dolls released in the line, which has since expanded to include contemporary dolls and characters as well as puppets that represent different backgrounds and who come from different places in American history. More than 36 million American Girl dolls have been sold in the years since, according to the company.

The American Girl doll movie will be produced by Mattel Films, Paramount Pictures – which, like CBS and CBS News and Stations, is part of Paramount Global – and Temple Hill Entertainment. Mattel film is also working on developing live-action movies with a number of its other brands, including Barney, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends and Wishbone, among others, the company announced in September.

A new film would not be the brand’s first foray into the screen. Previous made-for-TV and streaming offerings have focused on both the historical characters and contemporary “Girl of the Year” dollswhile the 2008 G-rated theatrical release “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” was based on the Great Depression-era doll.

Some have wondered about the possibility of a Ken movie. “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig recently told “60 Minutes” that she didn’t completely rule it out.

“I mean, the truth is, you know — I guess we’ll see,” she said.

Inside the creation of historically accurate American Girl dolls


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