Confirmed: Dolphin Entertainment and Mattel Team on Max Steel Movie
‘Max Steel’ Movie Gets New Life at Open Road Films as Mattel Reboots Toy Line
Dolphin Entertainment, Inc. and Mattel, Inc. have confirmed they are teaming up to develop the live-action, feature-length film Max Steel based on Mattel's franchise property of the same name. The film will be produced by Dolphin Films, a newly-formed subsidiary of Dolphin Entertainment. Open Road Films will distribute Max Steel in the U.S. as the first of a multi-picture agreement with Dolphin Films. The film will be given a wide release in theaters in the fourth quarter of 2014.
"Today marks the beginning of an exciting new relationship between Dolphin Entertainment and Mattel, two companies that have consistently worked to delight and entertain children all over the world," said Bill O'Dowd, CEO, Dolphin Entertainment. "We couldn't think of a better property to kick off Dolphin's feature film division than Max Steel, which tells a story of the power of friendship and teamwork, with a heavy dose of humor – all qualities we hope to bring to our partnership with the Mattel team."
Official Press Release
As Mattel reboots its “Max Steel” franchise with a new line of toys and an animated TV series, the company also has revived plans to produce a live action movie based on the property, with Open Road Films picking up the project to release in theaters late next year.
Dolphin Films, the newly created production banner of Dolphin Entertainment, will produce the film. Project serves as the first film under a multi-picture distribution deal Dolphin has set up with Open Road.
Through the pact, Dolphin will focus on pics aimed at families, tweens, teens and young adults.
“Max Steel” revolves around teenager Maxwell McGrath and alien companion Steel who can combine special turbo-energy powers to generate superhero Max Steel.
Charles Cohen, former chief operating officer of MGM, was recently tapped to run Dolphin’s new film shingle. He most recently was senior advisor for Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp.
“During his long tenure at MGM, Charlie Cohen worked on several large properties across multiple platforms, which makes him ideally suited to lead Dolphin Films,” said O’Dowd said. “We couldn’t be happier that Charlie has joined us, as we feel he’s the perfect addition to a stellar cast of experienced executives involved in this partnership.”
Young Male & Female Leads Testing For Live Action MAX STEEL Movie
DOLPHIN ENTERTAINMENT, MATTEL TO DEVELOP, PRODUCE
“MAX STEEL,” OPEN ROAD FILMS TO DISTRIBUTE
FOR WIDE THEATRICAL RELEASE
Christopher Yost to Write, Stewart Hendler Attached to Direct Live-Action Film;
Newly Created Dolphin Films Enters Multi-Picture Distribution Agreement with Open Road Films; Dolphin Films Hires Charlie Cohen as President
HOLLYWOOD – September 4, 2013 –Dolphin Entertainment, Inc. and Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT), have partnered to develop the live-action, feature-length film “Max Steel” based on Mattel’s franchise property of the same name. The film will be produced by Dolphin Films, a newly-formed subsidiary of Dolphin Entertainment. Open Road Films will distribute “Max Steel” in the U.S. as the first of a multi-picture agreement with Dolphin Films. The film will be given a wide release in theaters in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new relationship between Dolphin Entertainment and Mattel, two companies that have consistently worked to delight and entertain children all over the world,” said Bill O’Dowd, CEO, Dolphin Entertainment. “We couldn’t think of a better property to kick off Dolphin’s feature film division than Max Steel, which tells a story of the power of friendship and teamwork, with a heavy dose of humor – all qualities we hope to bring to our partnership with the Mattel team.”
Dolphin Films’ multi-picture agreement with Open Road Films will focus on motion pictures aimed at families, tweens, teens and young adults, which is a strategy that aligns closely with Dolphin and O’Dowd’s history delivering television and digital programming to those demographics.
“Dolphin has an excellent track record in creating family, tween, teen and young adult- focused entertainment,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO, Open Road Films. “We can’t wait to work with Bill O’Dowd and his team to bring this product to the marketplace.”
“Launching our film division has been a natural progression for us. Along with our established television and digital departments, our theatrical group will complete our goal of having a fully cross-platform production and distribution business,” added O’Dowd. “Open Road Films was the first choice for our theatrical partner as Tom Ortenberg, Elliott Kleinberg and Jason Cassidy are not only accomplished in the theatrical distribution business, but also true gentlemen.”
Created internally by Mattel, the Max Steel™ franchise spans multi-platform entertainment, toys and consumer products. In development with Dolphin Entertainment the feature-length film will introduce audiences to a new and never-before-seen world of Max Steel.
“Teaming with Dolphin Entertainment and top Hollywood creative talent to write, produce and direct the feature film, Max Steel will excite and engage audiences around the world,” said Doug Wadleigh, Senior Vice President, Global Brands Marketing. “Max Steel’s debut on the big screen is the next evolutionary step for the franchise utilizing a live-action theatrical format to truly personify the brand.”
Bill O’Dowd will produce the film alongside kid’s entertainment veteran Julia Pistor who is producing for Mattel. Pistor’s storytelling and production expertise spans over two-decades with extensive work in television, film and syndication for premier global entertainment companies including Nickelodeon, HIT Entertainment and Viacom Enterprises.
“Max Steel is an action-packed, character-driven story that fits perfectly into the creative movie-making mold,” said Pistor. “We have assembled a world-class team in bringing Christopher and Stewart to the project and collectively will tell the origin story of Max Steel in an authentic, visually compelling way.”
“Max Steel” tells the story of teenager Maxwell McGrath and alien companion Steel who can combine special turbo-energy powers to generate sensational superhero Max Steel. The storyline centers on bringing a positive and relatable hero to kids, drawing upon turbo-charged teamwork, laughter and friendship.
“Max Steel” writer Christopher Yost most recently rewrote and did the production work on “Thor: The Dark World” for Marvel and director Alan Taylor. He also wrote the superhero adventure “Secret Headquarters” for Paramount and Stuber Pictures. Previously, Yost was a member of Marvel’s Writers Program, where he worked on the first “Thor.” “Max Steel” director Stewart Hendler recently directed and executive produced “H+,” a digital series for Dolphin Entertainment and Warner Brothers Entertainment, winning a Best Director award and sharing in a Best Sci-Fi or Action Series award at The 2013 Streamy Awards. Hendler also recently completed work on the award-winning digital series “Halo: Forward Unto Dawn.” Between them, “Halo” and “H+” have garnered 24 industry nominations, thus far. He also manages an active feature film career, having directed the studio features “Whisper” and “Sorority Row,” as well as developing several large-scale studio projects.
Ben Winchell Cast As MAX STEEL & Ana Villafane As Sydney Gardner In Live-Action Film
Back in April, Dolphin Entertainment and Mattel announced that a live-action, feature-length film based on Mattel's Max Steel property was back in the works after the previous attempt (apparently with Twilight actor Taylor Lautner attached) went belly up. We know that Christopher Yost wrote the script and that Stewart Hendler will direct, but now The Tracking Board reckon the following actors are testing for the male and female lead roles. Noah Silver (The Borgias), Ben Winchell (Necessary Roughness) and Dylan Minnette (Prisoners, Lost) are testing to play Max. For the undisclosed female role there's Skyler Day (Parenthood, Ironside) and Skyler Samuels (The Nine Lives of Chloe King, The Gates). The story follows a teenager named Max, who gets imbued with an energy power called TURBO (Tachyon Unlimited Radiant Bio-Optimized) and is then partnered with Steel, a technological alien.
Dolphin Films announced today that they have cast Ben Winchell as Max McGrath/Max Steel and Ana Villafane as his love interest, Sydney Gardner, in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Max Steel.
Thor: The Dark World writer, Christopher Yost has signed on to write and Stewart Handler will be taking on directing duties. The film is slated for a wide theatrical release in 2015 and is currently being presented to buyers in Berlin as the first in a planned series of Max Steel films. Open Road Films has signed a multi-year, multi-picture deal with Dolphin Films to distribute.