DreamWorks eyes View-Master toy as movie concept

The View-Master is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Mattel/Fisher-Price

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - View-Master, the Fisher-Price toy with little 3-D picture discs of mountains, rivers and caverns that kids could rotate through a viewfinder, is the latest vintage toy getting a second life on the big screen.

DreamWorks is in negotiations to acquire movie rights to the toy from Mattel (which owns Fisher-Price) and has asked writer-producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to do some “Transformers”-style magic on it.

Brad Caleb Kane, who worked as a writer-producer on the duo’s Fox series “Fringe,” is on board to write the screenplay. Kurtzman and Orci would produce.

Story specifics are being kept under wraps, though Kane, who during the holiday weekend sent out a message on Twitter announcing his involvement, said, “It’ll be like the old ‘80s Amblin movies: ‘Goonies,’ ‘Young Sherlock’ ... in that vein.” (That post has since been taken down.)

The Kurtzman-Orci production banner has specialized in Amblin-style movies. Kurtzman and Orci do have experience with toy brands, as well: Their resumes include the two “Transformers” movies, which are based on Hasbro toys.

DreamWorks is hoping to make a family-friendly movie. The studio, the producers and Kane will devise a story from scratch. That approach is becoming more common as Hollywood picks up properties based on the allure of brands and board games. Universal recently picked up rights to the Atari video game “Asteroids” and under its Hasbro deal is developing movies based on such games as “Battleship” and “Candyland.”

The View-Master deal, which is not yet signed, has been brewing for a while. One time-consuming element has been getting Kurtzman and Orci on board. The two writer-producers are in high demand as a result of their work on box-office hits “Star Trek,” “The Proposal” and “Transformers.”

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)