The LA Times has published an article today talking about Hasbro's forward-looking plans with their feature film business. As we'd heard about previously, Hasbro is planning their own cinematic universe in the style of Marvel's movies, bolstered by the runaway success of the Transformers film series. This article goes in to a little more detail on early plans for that, including a new try at GI Joe. There's also a little bit about next year's Bumblebee-focused spin off movie. Keep reading for select excerpts and a link to the article!
Ten years ago, Hasbro dusted off its ’80s action figure line Transformers and turned it into a blockbuster movie that was so successful it has spawned four sequels and counting.
In the franchise, the shape-shifting Autobots and Decepticons are sentient machines who engage in extreme warfare. But they are first and foremost money machines that have so far grossed more than $3.7 billion in cinemas worldwide, turning Hasbro into a major Hollywood player.
As Paramount prepares to release “Transformers: The Last Knight” in June, Hasbro is already looking beyond Planet Cybertron for new cinematic universes to build. Thanks to a vast store of intellectual property, the company can afford to think big — Marvel-size big. And it is starting to take a more active role in producing and financing some of its projects.
The company also has big plans to team up with Paramount again on movies featuring a rebooted G.I. Joe with a revamped look intended to appeal to younger audiences.
The action-figure line was turned into a movie in 2009, with a sequel four years later. Both "G.I. Joe" movies were modest box-office successes and didn't generate the level of global appeal as the "Transformers" movies.
“The world has changed, and I think you’re going to see G.I. Joe changing with it,” he said. “There’s going to be a much more contemporary approach to the whole franchise, and that will allow us to develop different characters.”
Davis added: “We hope to create a head snap. It’s a different kind of ‘Joe’ — one that still resonates with ‘Joe’ fans but brings in an uninitiated audience and expands the audience internationally and domestically.”
If all goes as planned, the cinematic universe will eventually incorporate characters from other popular Hasbro properties including ROM, Micronauts, Visionaries and M.A.S.K.
The projects are still in the writing phase, and Hasbro declined to say when the first installment would be released.
Some industry analysts are skeptical that Hasbro will be able to replicate its success with Transformers.
In the near term, Hasbro is working with Paramount on more “Transformers” sequels, including a spin-off focusing on the Bumblebee character that is set to open next year. “It really is a brand-new ‘Transformers’ that harkens back to the first ‘Transformers’ in terms of look and feel,” Davis said.
Looking beyond 'Transformers,' Hasbro wants to create its own Marvel-sized movie universe