New Barney Movie

Do you remember Barney & Friends? The educational children’s series ran from 1992 to 2009 and focused on a group of kids who learned valuable lessons in sing-song from a big purple tyrannosaurs rex named Barney, who was really just part of their imagination. The show has been off the air for a decade, but Mattel Films is keen on bringing Barney back into the pop culture scene with an all-new live-action movie, and for some reason, Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya is producing it with them. What?!

Barney & Friends was extremely popular in the 1990s and it lasted almost to the end of the 2000s. It became famous for the constant use of the song “I Love You, You Love Me,” which got stuck in the heads of anyone who happened to be near a television when the show was on. The show was so popular that it was turned into a feature film called Barney’s Great Adventure in 1998. But now audiences will get to discover Barney all over again.

Here’s what Daniel Kaluuya had to say about producing a new Barney movie:

“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood. We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”

Is it just me or does that sound a little ominous? Obviously Kaluuya is being tongue-in-cheek about Barney disappearing into the shadows and left misunderstood. But even the idea of exploring whether the concept of “I Love You, You Love Me” still stands the test of time makes it sound like they’re going to see whether Barney can say true to his word. Would Barney still love someone if they robbed a bank? Would Barney love a murderer? Would Barney love someone who colluded with Russians? Maybe these are the questions we need answered in 2019.

Kaluuya will produce the new Barney movie through his recently formed 59% banner. He’ll be joined by Rowan Riley and Amandla Crichlow as producers, and David Carrico, Adam Paulsen and Bobby Hoppey from Valparaiso Pictures. However, the movie doesn’t currently have a studio set for distribution. PolyGram Filmed Entertainment was behind Barney’s Great Adventure, but they’re defunct now, possibly disappearing into the same shadows where Barney now resides.

Whatever this new Barney movie will be, apparently it won’t just be a rehash of the old purple dinosaur. Robbie Brenner at Mattel Films says:

“Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations. The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids.”

Subvert expectations? I feel like the only way you can do that is for Barney to come back after being released from prison. Now he has to find a job, and he ends up working at a school in a low income neighborhood, Dangerous Minds-style. Then he has to show the kids he’s cool and convince them to sing the “I Love You, You Love Me” song. And in a surprise twist, he eats one of the classmates.

In all seriousness though, Barney & Friends has been off the air for a decade. And unlike other educational children’s programs like Sesame Street and Arthur, it doesn’t seem like the kind of show that you hear a lot of fond nostalgia for from the kids who grew up watching it. So will audiences actually care about Barney coming back in a new movie? Will the show start to get re-released before the movie comes together?

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