‘Matchbox’ Movie From Mattel Films And Skydance Lands ‘Extraction’s Sam Hargrave As Director

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EXCLUSIVE: After successfully launching the Extraction film franchise at Netflix, director Sam Hargrave has his eyes set on another potential franchise with a piece of IP that is revving its engines to get out the gate. Sources tell Deadline that Skydance and Mattel Films have closed a deal with Hargrave to direct a live-action movie based on Matchbox, Mattel’s iconic real-world die-cast toy vehicle line. David Coggeshall and Jonathan Tropper are penning the script.

Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger will produce alongside Robbie Brenner for Mattel Films. The project will be shepherded by Aimee Rivera for Skydance and Elizabeth Bassin and Andrew Scannell for Mattel Films.

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The iconic Matchbox brand was invented in 1953 by automotive enthusiast Jack Odell to solve a challenge for his daughter, who was allowed to take a toy to school only if it was small enough to fit in a matchbox. When his daughter’s school friends too began clamoring for a “matchbox car,” the brand was born. The high standards of authenticity for Matchbox die-cast cars have driven the brand for over 70 years and generations of fans. Today, two Matchbox cars are sold every second somewhere around the world.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but given Hargrave’s style that has put him on the map as one of the top action directors in town, the film is sure to feature high-octane sequences that could rival any car chase in town.

Hargrave has established himself as a filmmaker of note, known for incorporating unique, intuitive and character-driven action into his work in film and TV. Following the success of Extraction 1 and Extraction 2, he has been building out a robust development slate that includes the Warner Bros’ action film Stay Frosty, which he will also produce with Dark Horse Entertainment. The plot centers on a man who miraculously survives an assassin’s bullet to the head and has to figure out who wants him dead, and why, as he makes his way back home in time to spend Christmas with his son.

Hargrave will also direct the pilot episode and executive produce the upcoming Apple TV+ original drama series The Last Frontier, starring Jason Clarke. Created by Jon Bokenkamp and Richard D’Ovidio,  Last Frontier, follows Frank (Clarke), the lone Marshal in charge of the quiet, rugged barrens of Alaska, whose jurisdiction is turned upside down when a prison transport plane crashes in the remote wilderness, setting free dozens of violent inmates. Tasked with protecting the town he’s vowed to keep safe, he begins to suspect the crash wasn’t an accident, but rather the first step of a well-crafted plan with international political implications.

Coggeshall is a three-time Black Lister whose most recent spec The Family Plan debut on Apple TV+ starring Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan. It was the platform’s most-streamed movie after selling in a competitive situation to Apple and Skydance. Additionally, his script The Deliverance (formerly Demon House) just wrapped for Netflix with Lee Daniels directing. In the past two years, he’s also written Thundercats for Warner Bros and the Orphan prequel Orphan: First Kill for Paramount.

Tropper is the bestselling author of six novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages. He adapted his New York Times bestseller This Is Where I Leave You as a Warner Bros film, directed by Shawn Levy and starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.

He was the creator and executive producer of the Cinemax series Banshee and the HBO Max drama Warrior, and served as showrunner and EP of the Apple TV+ sci-fi series See starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard.

On the feature side, he wrote Kodachrome, starring Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen, and The Adam Project, a sci-fi thriller starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Levy. Most recently, he wrote the Amazon MGM Studios original feature The Wrecking Crew starring Momoa and Dave Bautista, which starts production this August, and he created the TV drama Your Friends & Neighbors for Apple TV+ starring Jon Hamm. That project is currently in production in New York City and slated to air in early 2025.

Hargrave is repped by WME, Coggeshall is repped by WME, Writ Large, McKuin Frankel & Whitehead, LLP and Tropper is repped by CAA.

Coming off the success of Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Skydance’s slate of action and adventure films has not disapointed as of late and includes Heart of Stone, Spy Kids: Armageddon and The Old Guard 2 for Netflix as well as The Family Plan and the upcoming The Gorge, Fountain of Youth and Mayday for Apple TV+, as well as Mission: Impossible 8.

Coming off the massive success of Barbie, Mattel Films’ vision is to collaborate with leading filmmakers to make standout quality movies based on our iconic brands that will resonate in culture and appeal to global audiences. In addition to Matchbox, Mattel has feature films in development for iconic IP including American Girl, Barney, Hot Wheels, Bob the Builder, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Thomas & Friends, UNO, View-Master, and Wishbone. Mattel Films is also developing Christmas Balloon, a holiday family drama based on all-new IP.

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