Barbie, Other Childhood Classics to Hit the Big Screen

PHOTO Films are reportedly in the works based on the teen book series "Sweet Valley High," and based on "Barbie."

With Mattel's recent announcement of plans to bring their beloved Barbie to the big screen in the near future, Hollywood's desire to tap into old childhood classics and playful themes is gathering steam. Straying away from some of today's digitized special effects and complicated plots, the simplistic approach of popular board games and teenage novels will soon hit big screens. Hollywood production companies, including Universal Pictures, are teaming with the likes of Hasbro to recreate game classics into screen adaptations. Even the classic children's fantasy film "Neverending Story" is in the works to be remade. Here are a few remakes that are sure to spark childhood memories.

She's fantastic, she's plastic . . . and now, she's heading to a theater near you. Universal Pictures has reportedly struck a deal with Mattel to bring Barbie to the big screen in a live action film.

"Barbie is the most famous doll in history, a unique cultural icon in the world of brands," said Universal Pictures Chairman Marc Shmuger. "So many representations of Barbie frequent pop culture, but never before has she been brought to life in a motion picture. We're grateful to Mattel for entrusting us with this extraordinary opportunity."

"Julie & Julia" producer Laurence Mark will lead the project. The plot possibilities for the movie are endless. Will Ken and Barbie wed and live happily ever after in her Malibu dream house? Will Barbie finally find and stick to one of the 70-plus careers she has had over the years? "Barbie may be the most popular girl in the world, and has always been a wonderfully aspirational figure, so we must do her proud," Mark said.

Sweet Valley High

The popular Wakefield twins will soon return. Elizabeth and Jessica, who were the main characters in the book series "Sweet Valley High" are getting their shot on the big screen, along with a host of popular 1980s comebacks that have become all the rage in Hollywood.

The series, which first began in 1983 by author Francine Pascal, has been picked up by "Juno" and "Jennifer's Body" screenwriter Diablo Cody. Cody is said to have read the Sweet Valley High series growing up, according to British newspaper The Guardian. The last book, "Sweet Valley University," was published in 2003. There was also a same-titled TV series based on the books from 1994 to 1997.

The book series included over 150 titles, with such themes as failed teenage love and the ups and downs of high school popularity. There was Elizabeth, the more reserved twin who enjoyed reading and writing and who was born four minutes before her sister. Jessica, the more outgoing and flirtatious of the two, often got into trouble –- only for Elizabeth to get her out of it.

With their California tans, blonde hair and blue-green eyes, the popular twins' lives unfolded in the series at Sweet Valley High, set in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, Calif. The cast and crew have yet to be announced, but which young Hollywood stars do you think could play the Wakefield twins?

The Neverending Story

Who could forget the 1984 film, whose theme song told us to "Reach the stars, fly a fantasy. Dream a dream, and what you see will be."

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