Who walks the stairs without a care? It shoots so high in the sky. Bounce up and down just like a clown. Everyone knows its Slinky.
Though the age of technology and screen-based entertainment may have made the Slinky a little more obsolete, the springy toy is still a classic, and the story of how it came to be a staple of many childhoods is going to be told in a new movie. Slinky will tell the true story of the inception of the toy that can famously walk down stairs, and Billy Madison director Tamra Davis is set to direct it.
Variety has the news of a Slinky movie in the works, though it doesn’t have a studio home just yet. Along with Tamra Davis on board to direct, the movie also has Joanne Rubino on board as a producer through her own Be Brave Media production banner. As for the script, Chris Sivertson will be writing along with Cristina Curbelo and Ann Carli, who will also executive produce.
The idea of a Slinky movie might sound rather unnecessary, but the story behind the toy’s rise to prominence involves the success of an innovative woman who had a significant hand in the toy’s creation. The invention of the Slinky has been credited to a man named Richard James, but it was his wife Betty James who turned it into the famous toy that has spanned generations. Betty James took over her husband’s company when it was nearly bankrupt, and she turned it around after her husband left her behind with their six children. And that certainly sounds like a story worth telling.
In a statement, director Tamra Davis said:
“I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the story of Betty James; a female inventor, business woman and dedicated mother who with her husband Dick James invented the Slinky. When I read her story, I was so inspired by the ups and downs of their rags to riches tale. I had no idea the iconic toy told the story of American innovation, domestic drama and the rise of the female executive. Betty James’ life is a moment in American history where women proved they could not only survive in the face of despair but flourish when the opportunity presented itself. I immediately connected with Betty James. She was an intrepid woman who’s goal in life was to create joy and make people happy.”
My only concern is that Tamra Davis hasn’t directed a feature film since the largely panned big screen debut of Britney Spears in Crossroads. She’s been quite busy as a television directing, taking the helm of episodes of Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, You’re the Worst, Stargirl, The Politician, Miracle Workers, and Dead to Me. Though she does have Billy Madison and Half-Baked under her belt, that still doesn’t inspire much confidence for a dramatic story like this. Plus, Chris Sivertson has never really written a high profile movie before, and he directed the famously awful Lindsay Lohan movie I Know Who Killed Me. Is this really the best assembly of talent to tell this story?
Just Play, the company that owns Slinky, will also be producing the film along with Marcus Englefield and George Lee of Storyoscopic Films, and Jeremy Ross. Robyn Klein serves as another executive producer alongside Dino Ladki, who has been trying to get the movie off the ground for awhile. Hopefully all his hard work and waiting will be worth it. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with one of the earliest commercials for Slinky, featuring a slightly different version of the famous jingle that everyone knows:
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