Not every day do you see toys and games become live-action movies, don’t you? A special exception to Hasbro’s Transformers, though, you guys are killing the game. Though this isn’t sci-fi, it definitely passes the weird-o-meter as Mattel is about to bring “game night” to a whole new level as UNO and Whac-A-Mole are coming to the screens.
You heard that right, my friend! UNO is being turned into a live-action movie and Grammy-nominated rapper Lil Yachty is set to produce. Just how weird will this film be? Who knows? Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner and Kevin McKeon, alongside Quality Films’ Kevin “Coach K (not to be confused with Duke’s legendary coach)” Lee, Pierre Thomas, and Brian Sher, are set to produce the film.
Described to be an “action heist comedy, set in the underground hip hop world of Atlanta,” the feature was written by Marcy Kelly. However, anything beyond that is still undisclosed to the public.
“I’m so excited to be part of this film with Mattel,” Yachty said in a statement. “I played UNO as a kid and still do today, so to spin that into a movie based on the Atlanta hip hop scene I came out of is really special. It hits close to home for me.”
“At Mattel Films, we are looking to explore stories that bring our brands to life in unexpected ways,” added Brenner. “UNO is a game that transcends generations and cultures and we look forward to partnering with Lil Yachty, as well as with Coach, P and Brian Sher, to transform the classic UNO game into a comedic action adventure.”
In light of Brenner’s words, UNO is a game that exists in all generations––dating way back to a Cincinnati barbershop in 1971. The game uses a strategy utilizing cards wherein players attempt to diminish one by one until only one remains in their hand. Once that happens, the person with one card must declare “UNO!” if they want to fairly win the match. Though it may sound simple, you know that the game ruins friendship on all cylinders. In the game, there are cards that let you draw extra cards or completely skip one round of your turn.
Celebrated and played across the globe, the game has been a staple for gatherings and even small group celebrations. In turn, as it exists in all celebrations of all ages, Mattel returns the favor for the game’s 50th anniversary.
Dating back to November of 2020, it was already reported that an UNO game show was in development from Propagate Content alongside Let’s Make a Deal‘s showrunner in John Quinn.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, arcade staple Whac-A-Mole will also be receiving its own screen adaptation. Partnering with Jayson Dinsmore of the production company responsible for the big guns in American Idol and America’s Got Talent, Fremantle, Mattel grabs this opportunity to create one of the most unique reality competition series out of the iconic bonking game.
“Whac-A-Mole is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television,” Mattel’s Adam Bonnett, who is developing and executive producing, said in a statement. “Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television series and are the perfect partners to help us bring this classic game to life in new ways,” he continued.
“We’re so excited to have the iconic Whac-A-Mole brand as our newest playground,” added Dinsmore. “Partnering with Mattel to bring this classic game to television in a dynamic and synergistic life-sized world is a dream come true.”