While Saturday Night Live recently skewered adult toy collectors in hilarious fashion, it appears that Hollywood’s fixation on toys isn’t going anywhere soon. We learned last month that Paramount was planning an interconnected cinematic universe between G.I. Joe and Micronauts, and now the studio has announced its full plans for said combo franchise—and it’s much bigger. Paramount and Hasbro announced today that they’re teaming up to create an interconnected series of films based on G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), and ROM, with the studios assembling a writer’s room to develop the stories for these various films.
This is a direct result of Paramount’s “success” with their writer’s room for the Transformers franchise, which they assembled earlier this year to come up with ideas on how to expand and continue that billion dollar franchise. That room came away with firm ideas for Transformers 5 and an animated Cybertron origin story movie, and now the two studios want to enact that same formula for creating these new franchises.
Following the semi-success of the rebootquel G.I. Joe: Retaliation—which grossed a so-so $375 million worldwide—Paramount has been slow to develop a third G.I. Joe movie. Retaliation helmer Jon M. Chu was initially slated to return to direct, but he fell off the project. Then in January of this year, Disturbia director D.J. Caruso entered talks to take the helm, but we haven’t heard anything about the movie since then. With this writer’s room gearing up, it’s entirely possible Paramount will simply reboot the franchise all over again with a new cast of characters.
Which writer’s will make up this writer’s room? Well in November it was reported that Akiva Goldsman, who oversaw the Transformers room, would also be heading up with G.I. Joe/Micronauts room, so it’s possible he’s currently working on finding screenwriters to come aboard. While there’s certainly an audience for Joe and to a lesser degree Micronauts, I’m dubious about the financial prospects of things like Visionaries or ROM. When the IP’s are this obscure—especially to your target demo of teenage boys—what’s the point in adapting something anyway? You could, you know, try to come up with something original?
Regardless, this interconnected universe is apparently coming whether we want it or not. Read the full press release below.
HOLLYWOOD, CA (December 15, 2015) – Paramount Pictures and Hasbro, Inc. announced a groundbreaking deal today to collaborate on feature films for five of Hasbro’s iconic properties. Under the agreement, Paramount and Allspark Pictures, Hasbro’s film label, will establish a cross-property interconnected onscreen universe, featuring the deep stories and great characters from Hasbro brands G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM.
“Paramount and Hasbro have had a longstanding relationship and we’re proud of the success we’ve enjoyed on the ‘TRANSFORMERS’ and ‘G.I. JOE,’ franchises,” said Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. “We’re excited to grow our agreement and make even more movies based upon these popular and powerful Hasbro characters and their worlds.”
Allspark Pictures, Hasbro’s film label, will produce the films and Brian Goldner (Chairman, President and CEO, Hasbro), Stephen Davis (Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Hasbro), and Josh Feldman (Head of Film Development, Hasbro) have worked closely with Paramount in shaping the interconnected universe for the properties. To develop the creative roadmap for G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM, Hasbro and Paramount will assemble a writer’s room which will include some of the most notable creative talent in Hollywood
“Hasbro and Allspark Pictures put storytelling at the center of everything that we do. These brands are filled with memorable stories and vivid characters, and this Universe creates a framework for how they will become interconnected,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman, President and CEO of Hasbro. “Extending our partnership with Paramount allows us to continue our long-term strategy and overall vision to build dynamic worlds for all of our brands, and we are thrilled to collaborate with them as we develop these properties.”
Rob Carlson of WME represented Hasbro in this deal.
The Paramount and Hasbro partnership is responsible for the worldwide blockbuster success of the “TRANSFORMERS” franchise, which has earned $3.8 billion to-date, and whose films, directed by Michael Bay, are amongst the highest grossing movies of all time; and the “G.I. JOE” franchise, which have earned more than $675 million worldwide.