Daniel Kaluuya’s Barney Movie Was Just Teased Again, And Now I’m Even More Confused

Daniel Kaluuya and Barney

When Barbie was first in talks, audiences were only provided with cryptic teasers about it, like its lead actress Margot Robbie calling it “something totally different.” The next Mattel film that’s making us scratch our heads is Barney. It’s mainly that we don’t even know what it’s going to be about. After the Daniel Kaluuya-produced movie was just recently teased again, I’m more confused than ever about what we’re supposed to expect.

All we really know about the live-action Barney movie so far is that it’s an upcoming Daniel Kaluuya-produced movie with early talks promoting it as “surrealistic.” But now, a new teaser for the purple dinosaur film has me questioning what we can expect. Mattel Inc. CEO Ynon Kreiz recently spoke to Semafor Business’s interview series On the Record about what the project and said,

That one is getting a lot of reaction. … It’s too early to be specific, but I can tell you we are taking a fresh approach that will be fun, entertaining and culturally oriented. It will not be an odd movie.

Wait, what? But, that would completely contrast with Mattel Film’s Vice President Kevin McKeon’s interview with The New Yorker! During that particular interview, McKeon compared Barney to an “A24-type film” akin to what you might see in a Charlie Kaufman or Spike Jonze movie. He also said it would be more adult-oriented without it being R-rated and about the challenges of being in your 30s growing up with Barney. However, one of the words that Kreiz used to describe Barney was “fun.” Is everyone behind the movie purposefully misleading us here?

If we think back on Daniel Kaluuya’s awesome reasoning for why he decided to produce Barney, it seems like there will be an underlying serious message from his soon-to-be-released movie. His answer would go with Kevin McKeon’s teaser of what to expect. The Get Out star explained that it is about how a children’s song could be the first song you ever heard of from youth only to forget about it when you get older. 

It kind of reminds me of a Toy Story movie about how good things from your childhood tend to come to an end, but we still have the memories. Kaluuya told The Guardian that the film asks if “I love you, you love me” stands the test of time, and I have a feeling I’ll be reliving my nostalgia days back when I was a huge Barney fan.

Barney’s memorable appearances outside of the adorable children’s show Barney & Friends have either been very light or incredibly dark. There was the 1998 live-action movie Barney’s Great Adventure about the purple dinosaur and three kids who go on a hunt to capture a magic egg before it hatches. Then, there was the Barney docuseries I Love You, You Hate Me  about the rise and fall of the children’s dinosaur (watchable with a Peacock subscription). 

With Barney back on the rise, it looks like this new Mattel Films movie is coming at a good time. And that’s not all. A CGI reboot called Barney’s World is on its way and will appear on Max in 2024.

I may be confused about what to anticipate from Mattel Film’s Barney, but my curiosity has been piqued further. It appears that the Daniel Kaluuya-produced Barney will be a mixed-toned film with moments that’ll make us smile but also make us sentimental. Make sure to check into our 2024 movie releases so you’ll know when the anthropomorphic T-Rex will come to theaters.


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