After years of toying with the idea of making a movie centered on a poseable action figure whose appeal is increasingly purely nostalgic, Mattel has decided to ditch Taylor Lautner and make a Max Steel movie without him. The live-action version of one of Mattel’s last yet-to-be-adapted toy lines—a list that is very nearly down to Food Fighters—Max Steel was initially set up at Paramount with Lautner back in 2009. It’s now been passed to Open Road Films, which recently showed off its playtime skills by pretending that Ashton Kutcher was Steve Jobs. (“Vrroooooom, I made a computer!” Open Roads said while swooping its Kutcher figure around like a plane.)
Thor: The Dark World writer Christopher Yost will pen a new script, which will still draw from the established Max Steel story—seen in a Disney cartoon and several animated direct-to-video movies already—of an ordinary teenager marked for greatness, who combines with an alien to become a superhero. It will thus fulfill every aspect of formulaic teen movie marketing, save a post-apocalyptic setting or monsters.
And yet, Food Fighters. They were an army troop made of food. They had a frying pan that was also a helicopter. Alas, they didn’t have any teenagers struggling with their destinies, so America won’t buy it. It’s an idea whose sophistication can only be truly appreciated by the French.