Last year, Paramount essentially short-cut a chunk of the blockbuster moviemaking process by simply cutting straight to a writers room group think. Most massive movies these days go through a number of rewrites as they head towards production, with the script changing hands through various scribes up through production, as a writer is also usually on the set to perform on-the-fly rewrites. In order to sidestep this process, Paramount put together a group of writers to hash out various ideas for future Transformers movies, headed up by Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind scribe Akiva Goldsman. And now, the studio is enacting the same process for a different franchise: the Hasbro Cinematic Universe.
We learned last year that Hasbro was going to move forward with a series of interconnected films based on their various properties, such as G.I. Joe (which is getting a reboot), Micronauts, Visionaries, and M.A.S.K.. Now, per THR, a full writers room has been assembled to help develop a plan for the creation of these interconnected films and stories. The room includes:
Michael Chabon – Spider-Man 2, John Carter
- Brian K. Vaughan – Y: The Last Man, Under the Dome
- Nicole Perlman – Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel
- Lindsey Beer – Kingkiller Chronicle
- Cheo Coker – Showrunner of Marvel’s Luke Cage
- John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein – Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Joe Robert Cole – People vs. O.J. Simpson, Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther
- Jeff Pinkner – Fringe, The Dark Tower
- Nicole Riegel – Tomb Raider reboot
Goldsman will also oversee this writers room as he did with the Transformers one, and will serve as an executive producer on all of the films. If this follows the trajectory of that writers room, then this group of scribes will hash out ideas and an overall game plan for the Hasbro Cinematic Universe, after which some of the writers will be assigned to pen individual screenplays. Moreover, Hasbro artists will be on hand to help draw up concept art for the ideas bandied about.
It’s impossible to deny that this is one talented group of individuals (Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Vaughan is a heralded comics writer), and you also may notice that a majority of them are working on/have worked on various Marvel Studios projects. This is also an incredibly diverse group of individuals, which was no accident. Hasbro CCO Stephen Davis says they first put together a list of writers they’d like to work with, then approached the “casting” of the room with the intent of ensuring that these very male-skewing IPs would have a broader focus than just teenaged boys.
The execution of this particular room seems fine, but I’m personally still a little wary of approaching films like television. Not only does it devalue the individual writer, but also the process as a whole. It used to be that you’d find a project, then set out to find a really good writer who could spend time developing and writing the concept him or herself. Now it appears the groupthink is favored. Again, the talent here is undeniable, but this whole process is still is a bit strange.
What do you think, folks? Do you like the idea of assembling writers rooms to flesh out a cinematic universe before the scripts are written? Are you interested in seeing G.I. Joe and Micronauts crossovers? Sound off in the comments below.