Why Paramount's toying with a Max Steel movie

Hollywood loves toys! Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is still on a roll, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is due, and now comes word that the studio behind both of those movies is developing a film based on Mattel's Max Steel action figure.

Variety reports that Paramount Pictures is teaming with producer Joe Roth for a movie based on the property, about a 19-year-old extreme sports junkie recruited by a secret agency after an accident infects his body with nanobots, making him superhuman.

Here's what the trade paper reported:

Although Mattel introduced the character in the U.S. in 1999 as an action figure, and soon after in an animated series that ran from 2000-2002, he's proved more popular in Latin America, where Max Steel is the region's No. 1 action figure. Mattel has continued to produce animated direct-to-DVD features for the region, produced by Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver.

But Mattel wants to use movies as a way to relaunch the toy line in the U.S. and the rest of the world, the way the Transformers pics have helped generate new heat around Hasbro's action figures. ...

Mattel was keen on pairing with Roth, considering the Max Steel character has similarities to the XXX franchise he launched while head of Revolution Studios. The Xander Cage character in the first film was an extreme sports athlete turned spy.

It's early days yet, and Roth and his toymaker partners are seeking a writer and director.

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