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Barbie coming to the big screen in live-action comedy for Sony

MoviesEntertainmentToy IndustrySony Corp.Mattel Inc.Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.Warner Bros.

Barbie is going from the toy store shelf to the silver screen.

The iconic blond-haired, blue-eyed doll will be featured in an coming live-action comedy, Sony Pictures and Mattel announced Wednesday. Production for the movie, which Sony sees as its next big global franchise, is set to begin at the end of the year.

Written by Jenny Bicks ("What a Girl Wants," "Rio 2") and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, the movie will draw on Barbie's unique resume. Over the years, Barbie dolls have come in more than 150 different looks, including princess, president, mermaid and movie star, and the character will inhabit many of those roles on-screen.

"We've always thought that the Barbie story had great potential, but a universe of possibilities opened up when Jenny, Walter and Laurie brought us their unexpected, clever and truly funny concept," Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures' president of production, said in a statement.

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Sony is hunting for new franchise material. The studio is developing its "Amazing Spider-Man" properties, which include "Venom" and "Sinister Six" spinoffs, and is looking to revive its "Bad Boys" and "Men in Black" series.

The Barbie movie marks the second collaboration between Sony and Mattel, which are developing an adaptation based on the Masters of the Universe action figures.

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. parlayed its own toy adaptation into blockbuster success with "The Lego Movie," the top-grossing movie of 2014 so far. A sequel is planned for 2017.

Paramount, meanwhile, has its fourth "Transformers" movie opening in June.

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MoviesEntertainmentToy IndustrySony Corp.Mattel Inc.Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.Warner Bros.
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