The 90s' favorite annoying purple dinosaur is back -- and grittier than ever. No, I'm not talking about former Barney actor David Joyner's career pivot into tantric sex teaching, nor am I referencing the CIA keeping "I Love You" on loop as a torture playlist staple. Earlier this week, Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out, Queen & Slim, and Black Mirror fame shared new details on the upcoming live-action Barney film he's been working on for more than year now, and it sounds, well, surprisingly heartbreaking.
Last October, in what first sounded like a weird prank gone too far, word broke that the acclaimed actor's film company, 59%, along with Mattell and Valparaiso Pictures, would be teaming up to bring the 90's children's TV staple to the big screen in a live-action reboot that aims to unpack the singing T-Rex as a "compelling modern-day hero."
"Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood," the BAFTA winner explained to The Hollywood Reporter last year. "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." Could Barney be the hero we need and deserve in this dumpster fire of a year? A few days ago, Kaluuya, who is credited as one of the film's co-producers, elaborated on this um, unique, description of the famed dino, explaining why he was drawn to the project and offering some veiled insight on what we can expect for the reboot.
"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 told Entertainment Weekly of the project. "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."
There have been weirder things that have happened this year -- why not toss what sounds like a gritty and heartbreaking Barney live-action drama into the mix. If Archie can (sort of) do it, the purple dino probably can, too.