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Friday, April 22 2016 01:01

The Writers Room behind Hasbro's Cinematic Universe has been revealed...

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Last year, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro revealed their plans to build a "cross-property interconnected onscreen universe featuring the brands G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM." When you hear about such an "interconnected universe," it's not hard to see a line drawn back to the success of what Disney has done with MARVEL, and how other studios (including the folks at Warner Bros. with their "DC Extended Universe") are trying to capture some of that magic. In particular, the Hasbro universe is of great interest to me... a kid (albeit a big one now) that has grown-up with these properties over the past 30+ years and hopes to see them fully-realized in all their potential on the big screen -- especially G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K. Yesterday morning, the players in the "top talent writers room" responsible for bringing these stories to the screen were revealed, and there's some heavy hitters in the mix.

Academy Award Winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) 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 be Lindsey Beer (Wizard of Oz, Kingkiller Chronicle), Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael 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.  

While the talent in the room is undeniable, I'm hoping that somewhere in there is a love of the toys - something that often seems to be missing from the reboots and reimaginings that we've seen before (including the first two G.I. Joe movies, in my opinion), and a quality very much needed to propel the lesser-known brands like Visionaries and ROM to mass success.

Stay tuned for more...

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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