Barney The Purple Dinosaur Gets Movie With Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya

Saturday, October 19, 2019

It's not yet known whether the live-action film about the dino will be a gritty take on the children's TV icon.

Daniel Kaluuya is best known for roles in Marvel's Black Panther and horror film Get Out, but now he's turning his acting skills to TV mascot Barney, the happy purple T-rex who sang about friendship. The dino is getting own movie, according to Variety

Most of us remember Barney from his children's TV series Barney & Friends, which ran on PBS from 1992 to 2009. If you grew up watching him, you might have fond memories of Barney dancing and singing to catchy songs about kindness and love

If you were an adult during that time, you might have found those same Barney songs annoying because insipid lyrics like "I love you, you love me" never got out of your head. Even Kaluuya commented about Barney's polarizing effect. 

"Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood," Kaluuya said in a statement. "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."

With Kaluuya on board, it's fun to speculate what the film will be about. Is it a straight-up movie starring Barney as the main character? Or will it be about the actor David Joyner who portrayed Barney on Barney & Friends, but then later ran a tantric sex business? (No really, he did.)

Right now, it's anybody's guess. But Mattel Films producer Robbie Brenner gave another clue that this won't be a typical Barney kind of movie.

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

Some on social media wondered what the movie will end up looking like. 

Netflix's Rim of the World screenwriter Zack Stentz (who is not connected to the Barney film) suggested a stylized story about the fans themselves.

"Prediction: the movie will be a Christopher Robin/gentler Drop Dead Fred-thing where the lead character is a thirties millennial embarrassed that he used to love Barney and reconnects with the big purple guy to symbolize the innocence and open-heartedness he had lost touch with," Stentz tweeted

Then there's the suggestion Barney would make a perfect horror film like Get Out, or even a gritty reboot like Joker.

No additional cast information, director choice or release date have been announced and Mattel Films did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.