All it took was a single post by the Hollywood Reporter to change a lot of minds and boost a lot of outlooks.
Like anyone else, I was pretty flippant about Hasbro’s supposed commitment to a shared cinematic universe when it was announced back in February. Instead of feeling like innovation, it just felt like “me, too” especially when you consider the extremely diverse properties they want to try and blend together into this shared universe.
Can anyone blame me, though? Hasbro’s initial forays into licensed films were mediocre (though Transformers made a buttload of cash), and until they prove to me otherwise, those are what we have to go by.
But, I’ll tell you, when the word came down from Hollywood Reporter about exactly who was filling the chairs in the Hasbro writer’s room, I think a lot of minds were changed, myself included.
Far and away the three biggest names are Michael Chabon, Brian K. Vaughan, and Nicole Perlman.
Chabon has crafted a Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay as well as about 1/3 of Spider-Man 2, which is arguably the best installment in that film’s mired history of mediocrity.
As for Vaughan, he’s just the writer for Saga, an Eisner winning comic often considered as one of the preeminent comic books of our current times, and has also worked on the television series Lost, Under the Dome, and wrote Y, The Last Man, a series which also won Eisner awards.
Along with these two, Nicole Perlman is a part of the team as well, the noted success story from Marvel’s Screenwriting program. She co-wrote a little film you might have heard about called Guardians of the Galaxy, and is rumored to be currently working on Marvel’s live action Captain Marvel film.
These are three real heavyweights, and a demonstration of some real commitment on Hasbro’s part to craft an effective writing team. However, there is a wealth of other great writers involved in this project as well.
- John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (writers of Spider-Man: Homecoming)
- Geneva Robertson
- Cheo Coker (showrunner for upcoming Netflix Luke Cage series)
- Lindsey Beer
- Joe Robert Cole (writer of The People vs OJ Simpson and Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther film)
- Jeff Pinkner
- Nicole Riegel
This news comes as a very pleasant surprise as my initial reaction to this whole shared universe concept was that Hasbro was just trying to be a “hanger on” to this new fad, but an investment in the skillset of the people you see above shows me they are taking this seriously and leaning on some true writers to try and develop this universe.
For G.I. Joe fans and toy fans in general, I think this is a very good news, and this whole story just got a hell of a lot more interesting. What’s really impressive is a layer of diversity among the writers, with input coming from many different areas, and that will hopefully help to craft a more cohesive, emotional, and successful world for our favorite Hasbro brands.
The first meeting is apparently Monday, along with Hasbro artists who will start drafting some character design as well. Stay tuned, I sure as hell will be.