Another beloved toy line has been tapped for a film adaptation, and this time nobody quite knows how to feel about it. The live action rights to Beyblade, the dueling spinning tops toys from Japan that became a smash hit in the early 2000s, has been purchased by Paramount pictures, and Jerry Bruckheimer is expected to produce the film.
As Deadline reports, Bruckheimer — well-known as a blockbuster producer, on franchise such as the Pirates of the Caribbean, Bad Boys, and National Treasure — has been tapped to shepherd the new film, with relative newcomers Neil Widener and Gavin James (who are also to bring the DC hero Hourman to life, and currently are only otherwise credited for Now You See Me 3) writing the script.
Which, frankly, means there’s nothing to go on in terms of plot or tone being aimed at here — we don’t know these writers, their sensibilities, if they’re funny, dramatic, serious, whatever. It feels like a low investment choice, as if Bruckheimer saw the combination of dollar signs attached to Beyblade (which has sold hundreds of millions of tops, launchers, and stadiums and continues to sell today, even well after its heyday) and millennial nostalgia and decided “why not, let’s give these two guys a chance.”
Are we excited? Bummed out that another beloved millennial toy is being turned into a live action piece of nonsense? Or are we just along for the ride, hoping that there can’t possibly be anything more soul sucking than queuing up Beyblade Burst Evolution on Netflix. Will this be a children’s film? Will they go for a crossover audience, a la Transformers? Will it be something like Sonic, which managed to tread the line to make a so-so kid’s movie which, by default, became the best video game adaptation, more or less? Who knows.
Unlike a lot of Japanese franchises of this era which were built around a push to sell games and toys (Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragon Ball, and Pokémon for example), Beyblade has never quite left the cultural sphere of its initial surge in popularity, propelled by a line of toys that don’t require a lot of setup or strategy building, but which has firmly kept the franchise in the realm children’s media for now. But, you know, Bruckheimer produces hits. Maybe this adaptation will surprise us — we’ll bring you more on Paramount’s Beyblade plans as and when we learn the.