After leaving its Hot Wheels movie lying around for nearly a decade—resisting every exhortation to just put it away, damn it, your father almost broke his neck, by protesting, “But McG said he was gonna play with it!”—Mattel and Legendary have finally found someone to come and smash their toy car property together. It’s Simon Crane, a second-unit director who’s served on films like Troy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt, World War Z, and Maleficent, and will be making his first transition from working seemingly exclusively with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to guiding an entirely different sort of sleek machine very few get to handle.
Crane will direct from a script that’s currently being rewritten by Paul Attanasio, writer of Quiz Show and The Good German, who’s been drafted to capture the human tragedy behind Hot Wheels—which, until now, has mostly been expressed as brothers whipping brothers with the race track. Now, The Hollywood Reporter says, “The story centers on a washed-up Illinois State Trooper who, after a dangerous military device falls into the hands of a criminal, fights the man his father once put behind bars.” In other words, it’s a faithful retelling of all those carefree times you ran your Hot Wheels across the linoleum, saying, “Vroom! Vroom! I’m a burned-out policeman with deeply unresolved issues of living up to my father’s legacy! Eeeeeeerrrk! I may be chasing a criminal, but really I’m chasing redemption! KABOOM!”