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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…

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