A live-action Barney movie is in the works, and it may not be the exact Barney many grew up watching and loving. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Widows, Queen & Slim) is set to produce the upcoming movie, and he set Twitter ablaze after speaking about the film.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kaluuya was discussing his upcoming film Judas and the Black Messiah. However, a completely different movie became the star of the interview.
“Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ That’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when that isn’t true? I thought that was really heartbreaking,” Kaluuya said. “I have no idea why but it feels like that makes sense. It feels like there’s something unexpected that can be poignant but optimistic. Especially at this time now, I think that’s really, really needed.”
Barney & Friends was a children’s television showed that aired from 1992 to 2009. It was originally aimed at children aged one to five, with Barney giving lessons through songs and dances full of optimism. Barney’s Great Adventure, the first-ever Barney feature-length film, was released in theaters in 1998. A TV revival was announced and intended for 2017, but never happened.
The Untitled Barney Film
Last year, Mattel Films announced a second Barney film was going to be produced, and Kaluuya’s production company 59% was involved.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood,” said Kaluuya after the announcement, Entertainment Weekly reports. “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.”
Robbie Brenner of Mattel Films told Entertainment Weekly, “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to Barney that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations.”
While that’s pretty much all that’s known on the project, fans took to Twitter to theorize. Many tied Kaluuya’s breakout role in the 2017 film Get Out to the untitled Barney project, thinking Barney would be more eerie and unsettling than the friendly dinosaur many know.
One user expressed that while they loved Kaluuya’s previous work, they didn’t think they were ready for a “terrifying” version of Barney.
now I really like daniel, but live action barney sounds terrifying pic.twitter.com/nubrmtj7cN— C. (@mindctrI) October 20, 2020
Others thought news about a dark Barney movie was a perfect step for 2020’s track record.
It’s been a tough year full of hornets, aliens, economic shutdowns, uncertainty, fogged-up glasses, ever-shifting blockbuster release dates and more.— Kevin: The Critic From Another World (@kevin_thecritic) October 20, 2020
But the single hardest thing for me to wrap my head around remains that Daniel Kaluyya is making a “Barney” movie. pic.twitter.com/BzcnzheFIz