A Live-Action ‘Barney’ Movie is in the works, but can the world handle it?

The ‘Barney’ Live-Action Movie Will Be About The “Misunderstood” Purple Dino

Every '90s kid remembers the silly-looking purple dinosaur that appeared on TV screens from 1992 through 2009. It doesn't matter if you loved him, hated him, or were indifferent — Barney was an icon. And now, he's being brought back, but not how you'd think. A live-action Barney movie is happening, but it sounds... kind of strange.

If you're excited at the idea of Barney — the famous purple and green T-Rex — resurfacing, then props to you. If you think it's weird, then that's totally fair, too. I'm not sure that I'm here for this one, but I do know that this Barney live-action film is definitely going to make some waves. I'm sure many fans will love the nostalgia, but there's just always someone that found Barney kind of creepy. Actually, I've met quite a few people with that view.

The news of this live-action movie was announced Oct. 18, and TBH I just plain don't know how to feel about it. If somehow you missed out on the reign of Barney on kid's programming, the original show, Barney and Friends aired on PBS from 1992 until 2009. Barney and his dino friends used to dance around and sing with the kids on the show to teach viewers lessons about friendship. And well, for some young kids, it was a rite of passage and their love for Barney went down in history. For others, it's the kind of thing you sort of wish would just vanish from your memories.


There is not a whole lot of info on the upcoming Barney live-action movie, except who's set to produce and the way you might expect the film's plot to go.

Set to produce is Daniel Kaluuya, who you probably know from Black Panther and Get Out, with Kaluuya's new production company, 59%, partnered with Mattel Films. Along with Kaluuya, other producers signed out are Rowan Riley, Amandla Crichlow, David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, and Bobby Hoppey for Valparaiso Pictures. There is not yet a confirmed studio for the movie, but I'm sure it'll happen soon.

Who will star as Barney? That has yet to be revealed.

Why is Kaluuya producing this film? Well, I'm guessing he just figured that the world needed more love, and who better to spread the love than a dude wearing a purple T-Rex suit singing "I love you, you love me?" In all seriousness, Kaluuya's statement to The Hollywood Reporter does refer to Barney's past popularity: "Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood," Kaluuya said of the famed dino. “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."

Indeed. I suppose Barney is a modern-day hero for some. This is what makes the film sound a bit, well, grown-up. First Kaluuya called him a modern-day hero, but then Mattel Films' producer Robbie Brenner stated that “working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable [Mattel] 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.”

BRB, I have no idea how to handle this. How is this Barney live-action movie going to be grown-up on any level? I guess it'll be a wait-and-see situation, but the producers are making it sound... almost eerie.


Yeah, maybe the film will somehow balance nostalgia and good feelings, while bringing in enough to keep adults and kids both entertained, but I'm not sure how they're going to be pulling it off. And frankly, I'm not sure if the world is really ready for a big-budget, live-action Barney movie.

Even stranger, Carrico of Valparaiso Pictures went on to say that the company "can't wait to get 'I love you, you love me' stuck in heads everywhere, yet again." I'm sorry? Is this a horror film, a joke, or the real deal? I get it, Barney is supposedly "misunderstood," according to Kaluuya. Maybe the live-action film will surprise us all. Maybe these producers have some tricks up their sleeve.

One thing is for sure, there is some serious '90s nostalgia going around in Hollywood. Sort of like Mandy Moore producing a TV show, '90's Popstar, based on her own singing career of the late '90's. Or the amazing '90's Hotels.com Lisa Frank Flat that is, of course, already sold out. I'm all here for it. But a grown-up Barney live-action movie? IMHO, there will be a slew of mixed opinions on this one.