Deadline is reporting that Paramount Pictures and producer Mary Parent’s Disruption Entertainment are developing the toyline Beyblade as a live-action feature film.
Essentially weighted spinning tops with different abilities that can be launched into “battle” with each other, Beyblade originated at Japanese company Takara Tomy in 2000, and were licensed by Hasbro for America in 2001. Generating over $2.5 billion dollars in revenue, the brand was popularized by a manga series by Takao Aoki about a group of kids who form a team called Bladebreakers to compete in tournaments using Beyblades. The property has spawned several Anime series, video games, and two animated movies, not to mention a new toyline scheduled to debut in 2017.
Paramount has had enormous success in adapting Hasbro’s Transformers toys into a major film franchise, but its two G.I. Joe films have only performed moderately well at the box office. Meanwhile, Universal achieved amazing low-budget profitability with Ouija while the expensive Battleship utterly sunk. Beyblade has an extensive mythology with worldwide recognition to adapt, although it lacks the nostalgia factor of those previous properties and may prove a tough sell to older millennials and their parents.
Former Universal co-chair Parent is also producing the toyetic Monster Trucks movie at Paramount, currently in a lengthy post-production for a 2016 release, as well as the Pacific Rim franchise at Legendary/Universal.