Friday, April 22, 2016

Paramount Pictures & Hasbro Creating Film Universe

During the 1980's, Hasbro entertained children and promoted the toy manufacturer's products through several popular television cartoon and comic book series.  Paramount Pictures and Hasbro are going to try and bring back some of that magic from the 80's through the creation of an interconnected movie universe featuring popular toy brands from that era including G.I. JOE, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), Micronauts, ROM and the Visionaries.  I grew up watching the cartoons and reading the comic books tied to these toy lines, so it was exciting news that filled me with nostalgia when Paramount Pictures and Hasbro announced they've created a writers room of top Hollywood talent who will be focused on making these films a reality.

This group includes Academy Award Winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind), who will be responsible for overseeing the writers room as well as serving as Executive Producer on all the films within this cinematic universe, along with Lindsey Beer (Wizard of Oz / Kingkiller Chronicle ), Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay ), Cheo Coker (Luke Cage, Ray Donovan), Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther, People vs OJ ), Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel), Jeff Pinker (Lost, the Dark Tower), Nicole Riegel (Soldier Girls), Geneva Robertson (Atlantis, Tomb Raider) and Brian K Vaughan (Under the Dome, Lost).  Allspark Pictures, Hasbro's film label, plans to produce the films based upon the cross-property universe.  Hasbro also plans on bringing in an unprecedented number of top artists and designers to assist Goldsman and the writing team with visualizing this all-new cinematic universe.  I love movie concept art so am especially looking forward to seeing what emerges from these artists as they help the writers script these films.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Paramount and Hasbro's movie partnership has had mixed results since it began in 2007 with the release of the first TRANSFORMERS movie.  That film franchise directed by Michael Bay has earned more than $3.8 billion to date and its movies are amongst the highest grossing movies of all time.  Unfortunately, on the other hand the G.I. JOE movies the Hasbro / Paramount partnership created have squandered the popularity and goodwill that brand had developed with consumers. While the G.I. JOE movies have earned $675 million worldwide each has been lackluster.  From someone who has such wonderful childhood memories of playing with G.I. JOE toys in my backyard, watching the cartoons every day after school and waiting in anticipation each month for a new issue of their comic book to arrive at the news stand, I just have to say it is a shame how immemorable the movies Paramount and Hasbro have produced for this franchise are.  Hopefully this new cross-over cinematic universe will not only reboot G.I. JOE with a film that will wow people but also mimic Disney's efforts with Marvel creating something special through a series of movies that the adults who enjoyed these characters as kids can now share and enjoy with their own children. 


I am optimistic that these new films featuring G.I. JOE, Micronauts, M.A.S.K. and ROM will be exciting and enjoyable to watch because Hasbro and Paramount are investing the resources and talent to make them extraordinary.  I wasn't into the Visionaries as a kid and they were a bit of a flop back then so not so sure how that is going to fit into the mix with these other franchises which seem a little easier to interconnect with each other but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and hopefully will be positively surprised with the outcome. Hasbro and Paramount have made some incredible movies featuring the Transformers so we know with the right amount of effort and leadership they can do it again with this new cinematic universe. So I'll be eagerly keeping an eye out for news and information about how this project is progressing. Stay tuned for future updates from A Geek Daddy!

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