Mattel Films is developing a live-action family drama titled “Christmas Balloon,” based on a real-life story involving Mattel toys, the company announced Thursday.
Gabriela Revilla Lugo (“A Million Little Things”) will write the original screenplay.
“Christmas Balloon” centers on a young girl, Dáyami, living in a Mexican border town who tries to send her Christmas list to Santa tied to a balloon. The balloon is found by Randy and Marcella Heiss, a couple in Arizona grieving the loss of their own child, who make it their mission to fulfill the girl’s Christmas wishes. Mattel worked with the couple and donated toys to fulfill Dáyami’s wish for a brighter future.
“Much like Dáyami’s balloon itself, the journey of this touching story and Mattel’s direct role in fulfilling her real-life wishes made it a must-do for us,” Kevin McKeon, VP of Mattel Films said in a statement to TheWrap. “We were immediately struck by this little girl’s spirit and the story’s positive message. We also knew there was no one better to tell her story with passion and sensitivity than Gabriela. We are proud to work with her, along with Vital Pictures, to bring this touching family drama to audiences around the world.”
McKeon and creative executive Ivan Sanchez, will lead the project for Mattel Films. Chris Lemos and Luis Guerrero (“Beneath Us,” “The War Below”) of Vital Pictures will produce.
“Randy and Marcella’s story exemplifies the holiday spirit and shows the miraculous way small acts of kindness can change lives, bring families together, and inspire entire communities on both sides of the border,” Lemos added on behalf of Vital Pictures. “We can’t think of better partners than Mattel and Gabriela to bring this wonderful true story to audiences everywhere.”
Christmas Balloon marks the 14th Mattel Film in development and the first film based on all-new IP. Mattel Films’ Robbie Brenner and Kevin McKeon are reuniting with Revilla-Lugo, having previously worked together on “Tribes of Palos Verdes.”
“I am honored to bring Dáyami’s journey to life in a time when it’s clear we all need to believe in hope and magic,” Revilla-Lugo said.
Revilla Lugo is best known for executive producing Hulu/Neon’s “Palm Springs” and Netflix’s “The Starling,” starring Melissa McCarthy. Revilla Lugo is repped at Industry Entertainment.
“Christmas Balloon” joins other Mattel Films projects in development including movies based on American Girl, Barbie, Barney, Hot Wheels, Magic 8 Ball, Major Matt Mason, Masters of the Universe, Thomas & Friends, View Master Polly Pocket, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, UNO, View Master and Wishbone.