Watch CBS News

Move over, "Barbie" — Mattel announces plans for American Girl doll movie

Greta Gerwig: The 60 Minutes Interview
Greta Gerwig: The 60 Minutes Interview 13:30

Another movie based on a doll could be hitting the big screen: Toy company Mattel is developing a live-action film based on its American Girl doll line. 

The announcement comes in the wake of the "Barbie" movie, which brought in more than a billion dollars worldwide and was the highest-grossing movie of the year. Lindsey Anderson Beer, who wrote and executive produced "Sierra Burgess is a Loser" and directed "Pet Sematary: Bloodlines," is set to produce and write the screenplay for the American Girl doll movie.

"Growing up, my sister and I were American Girl girls. I had Kirsten, and she had Molly," Anderson Beer said in the Wednesday announcement. "They didn't feel like dolls to play with, rather real people whose worlds we got to imagine ourselves in. They are historically accurate toys and accessories that feature elaborate and immersive backstories uniquely suited to bring to screen."

The beloved 18-inch dolls, first launched in 1986, have names and backstories that were simultaneously released as novels.
Kirsten, who comes in an outfit from 1854, is a Swedish immigrant living in Minnesota, according to The Changnon Family Museum of Toys & Collectibles. Molly lived with her family in Jefferson, Illinois during World War II. Her father took care of wounded soldiers and her mother worked for the Red Cross.

The two were some of the first dolls released in the line, which has since expanded to include contemporary dolls and characters as well as dolls that represent diverse backgrounds and who hail from different points in U.S. history. More than 36 million American Girl dolls have been sold in the years since, according to the company. 

The American Girl doll movie will be produced by Mattel Films, Paramount Pictures — which, like CBS and CBS News and Stations is part of Paramount Global — and Temple Hill Entertainment. Mattel Films is also working on developing live-action films featuring a number of its other brands, including Barney, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Thomas & Friends and Wishbone, among others, the company announced in September.

A new movie wouldn't be the brand's first foray onto the screen. Previous made-for-TV and streaming offerings have focused on both the historical characters and the contemporary "Girl of the Year" dolls, while the 2008 G-rated theatrical release "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," was based on the Great Depression-era doll.

Some have wondered about the possibility of a Ken movie. "Barbie" director Greta Gerwig recently told "60 Minutes" that she wasn't ruling it out completely.

"I mean, the truth is, you know — I guess we'll see," she said.

Inside the creation of historically accurate American Girl dolls 01:16
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.