DreamWorks Eyes View-Master Pic

In Negotiations with Mattel to Buy Movie Rights to the Toy
Borys Kit and Jay A. Fernandez
The Hollywood Reporter
July 6, 2009

Remember View-Master, the Fisher-Price toy with those little 3D picture discs of mountains, rivers and caverns that you could rotate through a viewfinder? Well, DreamWorks is in negotiations to acquire movie rights to the toy from Mattel (which owns Fisher-Price) and has asked Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to do some "Transformers"-style magic on it.

Brad Caleb Kane, who worked as a writer-producer on the duo's Fox series "Fringe," is on board to write the screenplay. Kurtzman and Orci would produce.

Story specifics are being kept under wraps, though Kane, who tweeted his involvement during the holiday weekend, said, "It'll be like the old '80s Amblin movies: 'Goonies,' 'Young Sherlock' ... in that vein." That post has been taken down. Amblin-style movies has been the modus operandi of the Kurtzman-Orci banner.

DreamWorks is hoping to make a family-friendly movie.

DreamWorks, the producers and Kane will be coming up with a story from scratch, a practice that seems to be happening more and more as Hollywood picks up properties based on the allure of brands and board games. Universal last week picked up rights to the Atari video game "Asteroids" and under its Hasbro deal is developing movies based on such games as "Battleship" and "Candyland."

Kurtzman and Orci do have some experience with toy brands, however: The duo's resumes include the two "Transformers" movies, which are based on Hasbro toys.

The View-Master deal, which is not yet signed, has been brewing for some time. One time-consuming element has been getting Kurtzman and Orci on board. The two writer-producers -- whose work on "Star Trek," "The Proposal" and "Transformers" has contributed to more than $1 billion to the worldwide boxoffice -- are very much in demand. Ironically, with Hasbro hoping to continue working with the duo beyond this summer's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," Kurtzman and Orci could end up working on movies for two rival toy companies.

Steven Puri brought it in to Kurtzman/Orci and will work alongside shingle president Bobby Cohen in spearheading the project.

Mattel's Barry Waldo and Chris Pardi of Fisher-Price will executive produce.

CAA reps Mattel and Kurtzman and Orci. Kane, whose feature work includes "Brooklyn's Finest" and the in-development adaptation "The Historian," is repped by WME.