So much for the quiet news days, eh?
Apparently Hasbro has just participated in the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference, and rumor has it they spent quite a while talking about their future entertainment and toy plans with the folks in attendance there.
According to staff with TFW2005, Hasbro actually spoke about G.I. Joe specifically, saying they were going to “reignite” and “reimagine” the G.I. Joe brand through the Cinematic Universe, and that they were even currently developing a new G.I. Joe animated series.
In a way, this should come as no major surprise. G.I. Joe in its current iteration isn’t exactly a retail behemoth, and with a potential movie franchise on the way, you have to expect that Hasbro is looking to get back to the drawing board and push the franchise forward. I am fully on board with this plan.
G.I. Joe as it currently stands remains a fantastic and relevant product. Its design aesthetics, articulation, and overall style have very few peers at brick and mortal retail, in my opinion, the main issues all seem to fall around thematic ones and conceptual ones. Continually revisiting the same themes from the past 30 years is not an innovative way to carry a brand forward, so really, with a film franchise coming, it only makes sense to jettison some things and start fresh.
By all accounts, that seems to be what Hasbro is prepared to do.
Unlike many of my collecting peers, I don’t feel handcuffed or wedded to three decades of past history, and I really look forward to seeing what new concepts Hasbro might develop to move into the 21st Century. It will certainly be interesting to see what they do to dovetail a mostly real world military brand with these other interstellar adversaries, but I’m definitely on board to see what happens.
Check out TFW2005 and HissTank.com for some more specific commentary. I think the next few years could certainly get interesting!
Press representatives from Hasbro and Paramount have sent along a press release confirming details of the writing room set up to launch the Hasbro Cinematic Universe! Check out the press release below.
PARAMOUNT PICTURES AND HASBRO TAP AWARD-WINNING GROUP OF WRITERS TO CREATE CROSS-PROPERTY FILM UNIVERSE
WRITERS ROOM LEAD BY OSCAR WINNER AKIVA GOLDSMAN WILL DEVELOP STORIES FOR HASBRO BRANDS G.I. JOE, MICRONAUTS, VISIONARIES, M.A.S.K. AND ROM
HOLLYWOOD, CA (April 21, 2016) – Paramount Pictures and Hasbro, Inc. today unveiled its top talent writers room which will have responsibility for developing Hasbro’s cross-property interconnected onscreen universe featuring the brands G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM. This group includes some of the most notable creative talent in Hollywood, including Academy Award WinnerAkiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind), who will have responsibility for overseeing the writers room on behalf of Hasbro and Paramount as well as serving as Executive Producer for all of the films. Joining Goldsman will beLindsey Beer (Wizard of Oz, Kingkiller Chronicle), Pulitzer Prize WinnerMichael 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 Pinkner (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 films based on this cross-property universe, with Brian Goldner (Chairman, President and CEO, Hasbro) and Stephen Davis (Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Hasbro) serving as Producers, and Josh Feldman (Co-Head of Storytelling, Hasbro) as Co-Executive Producer. Hasbro will also deploy in the room an unprecedented team of its top artists and designers to assist Goldsman and the writers to visualize this all-new cinematic universe.
“Paramount and Hasbro have partnered on many successful films in the past, including the ‘TRANSFORMERS’ and ‘G.I. JOE,’ franchises,” said Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. “Bringing together a writers room of this caliber is a bold step for our partnership, and one that we believe is critical for building these brands into new, successful franchises for the future.”
“Together with Paramount, we have assembled a team of incredibly talented creative minds and storytellers to continue to help tell the rich history and narrative behind this interconnected cinematic universe, and we are thrilled to be working with Akiva Goldsman again to guide this process,” said Brian Goldner. “We are also excited to partner with Paramount to produce the films, as we’ve had a strong and collaborative partnership since our first Transformers movie in 2007.”
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.
# # #
About Paramount Pictures Corporation
Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, PLAY-DOH and TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and lifestyle licensing, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection with children and families around the world. The Company’s Hasbro Studios and its film label, ALLSPARK PICTURES, create entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film, digital and more. Through the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families. Learn more at www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
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.
At any given time throughout 2015 it felt like a pretty slow news year for G.I. Joe, but as always, when you stop and look back, suddenly things don’t look quite so small.
Granted G.I. Joe product at retail was pretty much focused to a singular burst in late summer as the 50th Anniversary exploded, then faded, even though we got Convention product and FSS figures earlier in the year. With all that being said, it still feels like there were plenty of “banner moments” in G.I. Joe news for the year that was.
News was breaking right up until the last moment, and I’m actually a bit worried that if I post this prior to December 31st I might end up missing something!
Click the “read more” link below to check out the full list!
On the surface this sounds like a very cool, very fun idea. Underneath the surface, I can’t help but wonder exactly how this is going to work.
The Hollywood Reporter posted an article today revealing a Hasbro and Paramount joint venture to unify the universes of G.I. Joe, MASK, Visionaries, Micronauts, and ROM into one connective cinematic universe.
My first reaction, of course, is JOY. I absolutely love Joe, MASK, and Visionaries, and the mere fact that discussion of these three properties is occurring fills me with immense pleasure.
Of course my next reaction is how the heck is Hasbro going to tell a story featuring a modern military team and Knights of the Magical light and have it make any modicum of sense? Add that to Rom the Space Knight and the Micronauts, and even more confusion comes into play.
It’s funny, I could definitely see MASK and G.I. Joe co-existing on screen in a great way. I could see Visionaries, Rom, and Micronauts even existing in some strange pseudo magic-science cosmic universe. But somehow joining all five together? Very weird, although certainly not without precedence. One might point to Marvel’s success with Guardians of the Galaxy to point out how well a company can synergize more “real world” events with a more cosmic story arc, but Marvel spent half a decade building their universe around their characters. Will Hasbro and Paramount’s vision work the same way?
I guess it will be interesting to find out.
Meanwhile, I’m just ecstatic that there are two more Hasbro properties I’m enthusiastic about potentially getting a stronger focus in the coming years.
Check out the Hollywood Reporter’s article for more details.
(Visionaries image courtesy of the immensely talented stratosmacca on DeviantArt)
I set out to write this article, and was immediately surprised by the fact that there was actually some stuff happening with the G.I. Joe brand in 2014. I know the fandom is eager to jump and say that G.I. Joe was high and dry in this momentous year, and from a practical perspective, it was, but even so, there were lots of things happening this year worth exploring. Not on any grand scale, however.
I suppose that’s a commentary on the state of G.I. Joe these days, where it remains somewhat relevant, but just barely. And one is forced to ask what’s worse? Being totally irrelevant, or being just relevant enough to cling around, but not relevant enough to try and push harder. It’s like the brand is stuck in this murky middle ground where it’s got the slightest hint of popularity enough for Hasbro to keep it hanging on, but not enough to get a real push. Yet, until it fades away completely, it likely won’t get a full rejuvination either.
All that being said, there were still some discussion points throughout 2014, and here are my top 10. I’m going to try very hard to maintain a sense of positivity and optimism, because dammit I still love G.I. Joe, even if the rest of the world currently couldn’t give a crap. 🙂
Check out the list after the break.