Hasbro and Paramount confirm blockbuster line up for cinematic writer’s room

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.

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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.

ABOUT HASBRO

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).

Just like that the Hasbro Cinematic Universe becomes legit

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.

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Is the Hasbro shared universe starting sooner than we thought?

The stories emerged a while ago that Hasbro was developing their own cinematic shared universe as a way to develop their in house brands and further their entertainment strategy.  In fact, just before Toy Fair 2016, a shareholder presentation revealed this fact, and focused specifically on a potential cinematic universe featuring G.I. Joe, MASK, Visionaries, ROM, and Micronauts.  How these diverse properties will all blend together remains a question, but is it possible that this question may be answered sooner than some of us thought?

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ve likely noticed that IDW Publishing has been promoting something called “Revolution”.  Nobody really seems to know what it’s about, but something is evidently in the works.

01-IDW-Revolution

Now today, from all over social media, various comic creators, writers, etc… are Tweeting about a creative summit to discuss this “Revolution”.  You can see a collection of these Tweets over at Bleeding Cool.

So, evidently, IDW is doing something interesting in advance of Free Comic Book Day and calling it “Revolution”.  Pretty innocuous, right?

Well, let’s connect some dots.  Not too long ago, IDW was rumored to be working on a MASK Comic Book.  IDW is already working on Micronauts and just recently announced the debut of a new ongoing ROM title.

Do you see where this is going?

Several of the creators traveling to this Revolution creative summit are creators who have been involved in some of these Hasbro properties, or are rumored to be involved.

Along with this, you have the apparent debut of a new Action Man (a European extension of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe), and his appearance is apparently in a Free Comic Book day special featuring ROM (which is happening right around this supposed “Revolution”).

As if this isn’t enough, there have been a swath of exclusive covers revealed, showcasing ROM cavorting with all sorts of different Hasbro themed characters.

So with all of this coming together, it seems possible that this “Revolution” might just feature the seeds of this big Hasbro shared universe.

Now, would Hasbro really utilize the IDW comics to kick off this grand scheme?  Honestly, I’m not convinced of that, but there are certainly a lot of coincidences here that lead me to believe we’ll be seeing some coalescence between brands, and that coalescence may begin with the comic pages before it graces the movie screen.

We’ll have to see what these events might mean for G.I. Joe, whether Real American Hero carries that torch, or if IDW might spin up another solo Joe book.

Or, who knows, I may just be full of complete crap.  As long as I get a cool MASK and Visionaries series to go along with it, I’m okay either way.