At this point, one fact has become abundantly clear: We can’t stop the “cinematic universe” trend; we can only hope to be entertained by it.
Paramount Pictures and Hasbro have announced plans to develop a series of interconnected films based on five of the toy company’s product lines: G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionairies, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), and ROM Spaceknight.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount will partner with Hasbro’s movie production label, Allspark Pictures, to develop the cinematic universe that will incorporate all five properties. The studios are currently in the process of putting together a “writers room” tasked with charting development of the cinematic universe, much as the two companies recently assembled for the Transformers movie-verse. Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman leads the Transformers writers room.
While G.I. Joe is already a well-known movie property thanks to two films that have collectively grossed more than $675 million worldwide, the other four brands are considerably less mainstream.
ROM Spaceknight (pictured above) began as a poorly received toy released by Parker Brothers in 1979 that became considerably more popular due to a tie-in comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The comic book series — written by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Sal Buscema — launched in 1979 and chronicled the adventures of an alien hero named ROM who defended Earth against a race of shape-shifting, bloodthirsty aliens called the Dire Wraiths. The comic book series outlasted the toy line and ran for 75 issues before concluding its celebrated run in 1986. IDW Publishing recently announced plans to publish a new series featuring ROM.
As for the other properties, Micronauts followed a group of explorers who become caught up in a battle raging across the miniature dimension known as the Microverse, while the Visionaries were knights imbued with the magical ability to turn into animals and wield mystical energies. M.A.S.K. featured a team of elite agents equipped with technologically advanced helmets that let them fight villains using a variety of special powers and transforming vehicles.
“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, Paramount’s chairman and CEO, in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We’re excited to grow our agreement and make even more movies based upon these popular and powerful Hasbro characters and their worlds.”
There’s no current timeline on when we’ll see the first project to come out of this cinematic universe.