Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya has confirmed that he is indeed working on a live action Barney movie alongside Mattel. Kaluuya is set to produce the project and has been discussing the relevance of the big purple dinosaur, particularly when it comes to the struggles and stresses of the modern world.
“Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ That’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when that isn’t true? I thought that was really heartbreaking. I have no idea why but it feels like that makes sense. It feels like there’s something unexpected that can be poignant but optimistic. Especially at this time now, I think that’s really, really needed.”
Daniel Kaluuya is clearly ready for the movie to get deep, highlighting the emotional resonance that one of Barney’s past songs had on him. Leaning towards an atmosphere that is “poignant but optimistic” sounds intriguingly unexpected for a movie based on Barney and would likely not be what first comes to mind when thinking of the cartoonish anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus Rex.
It certainly sounds like Kaluuya’s intention is to adapt the property into something that is much more than just a quick cash-in based on a childhood favorite, with his comments and involvement behind the scenes making Barney a very interesting prospect indeed.
The series Barney & Friends aired on PBS beginning in 1992 and quickly became a staple of children’s television. Aimed at children aged 1 to 5, the show centers on the title character Barney, a big, friendly, purple dinosaur who conveys educational messages through songs and small dance routines with an upbeat, optimistic attitude. The series ran for 14 seasons and 268 episodes, with the last episode of Barney & Friends airing on September 18, 2009. The character has been a childhood staple for many years, spawning a whole host of movies, specials and merchandise.
Kaluuya has discussed the movie in the past, with his comments then being equally as fascinating as his most recent ones. “Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” he said. “We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”
In a statement, Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner has also teased the unqiue approach that is being taken for Barney saying, “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations. The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”
Kaluuya is an exceptional talent, and has been a rising star for some time, with his performance in Jordan Peele’s Oscar winning horror flick Get Out putting him firmly on the map. Before we see what he conjures up with Barney, Kaluuya will star in the biographical drama Judas and the Black Messiah alongside LaKeith Stanfield.
There is no word yet on a director for the Barney adaptation, or whether Daniel Kaluuya will star in the movie himself, but based on the actor and producer’s comments, it could well prove to be something very special. This comes to us courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.