Movie Preview 2025
Barbie has shown us the way
It’s old news that Hollywood has become excessively reliant on reboots and recycling old IP. Most of it a total mess. But can we really blame them?
Audiences shun virtually everything they aren’t already familiar with. Despite how much people say they want it, original work is dead on arrival nine times out of 10. Actions speak louder than words, and so on.
But as strange as it may sound, the recent blowout success of the Barbie movie may point to a solution. It did so well, in fact, that Mattel is now preparing to launch the “Mattel Cinematic Universe” (this is real). Polly Pocket, Barney, and Hot Wheels movies are apparently getting the green light. And like Barbie before them, it’s rumored they’ll also get a serious treatment.
I’ve had this pet theory for a while that the only feasible way to release financially viable and high quality original work is to launder it under the guise of existing IP. Barbie showed us the way. But we can go further.
Imagine the “Hot Wheels” movie, but directed by Denis Villeneuve and treated with the dead seriousness of Blade Runner 2049. Or “Barney” directed by Damien Chazelle, with Ryan Gosling inside the dino suit.
This had me thinking, what other well-known children’s IP could be used in this way? What might we see a trailer for in the coming years that could take this insane idea to its Platonic Ideal?
To paint a picture, here’s what I imagine we’ll be seeing in the previews before too long.
The scene opens in a dingy, dimly lit interrogation room with a slate gray table and concrete floors. A fluorescent lamp hangs from the ceiling. An ashtray filled with cigarette butts sits near the center. A false mirror is built into one of the room’s four drab walls.
Two FBI agents sit on one side of the table. The senior agent is a mid-40s black man, his red tie loosened around his collar and his sleeves rolled up. He looks tired and hasn’t shaved for a few days. His partner is a white woman in her early 30s, her sandy brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. She has a serious look on her face and bags under her eyes. She hasn’t slept well in months.
Across from them is an older man with a long white beard. A walking stick lays on the floor in a corner of the room behind him. He sits in handcuffs, restrained to the chair with chains. He has a strange satisfied look on his face.
BLACK FBI AGENT – “Nine months ago someone hit our embassy in Kyiv, 700 casualties.”
He tosses a folder on the table, pictures of the dead on the floor of office suites spill out, the folder is stamped ‘EYES ONLY.’ There is no blood or wreckage.
FEMALE FBI AGENT – “We know he must have used some kind of gas, we assume he bought it from the Russians through a cut-out”
The dialogue continues in the interrogation room as a voiceover. The audience is shown a different scene while they speak. It appears to be a flashback.
Flashback Footage —
A small midwestern farm of about 10 acres is shown. It looks to be winter time. A sign is posted on its exterior fencing that reads “PROPERTY OF THE US GOVERNMENT.” There’s fine print too small to read but for two words: “EMINENT DOMAIN.”
Outside the fence, a man in his early 50s wearing a Carhartt worker’s jacket is seen getting into an older model red painted Ford F-150 pickup truck with a small crew cab. He has the rough edges of someone who has spent a lifetime working with their hands. But he wears a look of red-eyed defeat. Like he knows he failed his family despite a lifetime of fighting.
Inside the truck is his wife and son. The son, about 15 or 16 years old, looks angry, but also confused. As though he’s never seen his father cry before. The truck pulls away from the farm.
As it drives off, a caravan of diesel-powered big rigs approach. They are pulling what appear to be a series of large metal cylinders and massive turbines on oversized trailers. A company logo adorns the sides of each big rig. It says “WINDIANA INC.” in big block letters.
BLACK FBI AGENT (HEARD AS VOICEOVER) – “Six months ago, someone killed Senator Johnson, the head of the Judiciary Committee. It was reported as a heart attack, but we found the same trace evidence that was discovered in Kyiv. This was a targeted hit.”
The scene cuts back to the interrogation room once again
FEMALE FBI AGENT – “Two months later, someone took a shot at the Governor of Indiana while he was speaking to the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. The bullet’s still lodged in his teleprompter. The gun was found a mile and a half away. A Winchester bolt action rifle. If it’d been anything more sophisticated, the governor would be lying on a slab in the morgue right now.
She tosses a shell casing on the table. Presumably it was found next to the rifle.
THE FEMALE FBI AGENT CONTINUES – “He didn’t intend to kill the governor…but you already knew that. He was sending us a message.”
The viewer is now shown different footage. It appears to be a more recent flashback.
The same farm appears, except it looks considerably rundown. Wind turbines can be seen spread across the farm’s acreage. They don’t look as though they’ve been maintained.
A “For Sale” sign can be seen where the Eminent Domain notice previously hanged.
A montage of news reports is then shown. Anchors speak. Flashes of a downward trajectory stock chart for WINDIANA INC., images of abandoned farm towns, and a slew of rundown wind turbines are pictured near their heads.
BLONDE FEMALE ANCHOR (ON A NATIONAL PROGRAM) – “Seven years ago, The ENERGY SECURITY Act led to a spike in wind farm construction across the nation. Often to the detriment of hundreds of family farms. All in an effort to aid in the ongoing energy transition.”
ASIAN MALE ANCHOR (DIFFERENT CHANNEL, LOCAL PROGRAM) – “$100 billion was spent in Indiana alone. Part of a five year, $2 trillion nationwide program to build out wind power infrastructure.”
WHITE MALE ANCHOR (DIFFERENT CHANNEL, CABLE PROGRAM) – “…though millions were paid out in executive compensation, the whole project looks headed towards total failure.”
The footage cuts back to the interrogation room –
BLACK FBI AGENT – “Six weeks ago, someone stole 60 pounds of enriched uranium from the Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. They didn’t even know it was gone until someone called and told them directly. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have even known. They said it’s like it vanished into thin air. There’s nothing on the security tapes.”
As the dialogue continues, the viewer is shown footage of a large and highly secured military base. First an overhead shot. Then it cuts to an interior steel door with a nuclear symbol plastered on it.
Military men with M-16 rifles walk past the door and patrol the halls. The viewer follows them. Security cameras can be seen on every corner.
The guards pass through locked doors which serve as a secured entry point with armed men sitting in booths providing clearance for them to pass - after the guards show their IDs and pass a retinal scan.
FEMALE FBI AGENT SPEAKS WHILE THE MILITARY BASE FOOTAGE IS SHOWN – “And when they looked to confirm what the caller had said, the uranium was gone….but they found something.”
The scene is now back in the interrogation room.
FEMALE FBI AGENT CONTINUES – “The same thing we found in Kyiv on the ambassadors’ desk. The same thing we found in Senator Johnson’s home office. The same thing we found next to the rifle in Indiana.”
BLACK FBI AGENT CUTS IN – “The same thing that was left in the Oval Office this morning. This.”
The Female FBI Agent tosses something on the table.
The black FBI Agent pounds the table.
BLACK FBI AGENT, RAISING HIS VOICE FOR THE FIRST TIME – “Tell us where he is!”
FEMALE FBI AGENT, TRYING NOT TO LOSE HER COMPOSURE – “Why did you call the Kirtland Facility? How did he do it. Where is he planning to hit next?”
Finally, the man with the white beard speaks after sitting silently.
WHITEBEARD – ::soft laughter::
BLACK FBI AGENT – “…you think this is funny?”
The female FBI Agent gets out of her chair and walks towards the false mirror on the wall. She puts her hands on her hips, looking like she knows they’re running out of time.
The scene quickly cuts to a shot of a red Ford F-150. There’s an aluminum briefcase in the passenger seat. It’s driving on I-495. The nation’s capitol can be seen in the distance.
The scene cuts back to the interrogation room.
The man with the long white beard stares tauntingly at the black FBI agent, who is still sitting at the table.
WHITEBEARD – “…even if I told you…”
BLACK FBI AGENT – “…TELL US WHERE HE IS…”
WHITEBEARD – “…You’ll never find him!!” ::maniacal, crazed laughter::
The screen goes black.
The movie’s title is finally revealed:
Do you have The Right Stuff?