It seems at the moment, in Hollywood you need a franchise if you are going to be a player in the cinematic market. Since the massive success of Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe and the financial success of the Transformers franchise, it seems Hasbro is next in looking at a shared cinematic universe.
With this harking back to nostalgic times and the fun of mashing up different franchises becoming so popular now it is no surprise that Paramount is trying to get back in the game with an expanded universe all their own. The big surprise is what they have chosen. With success in the most part with their adaptions of the G.I. Joe and Transformers toy lines, they feel now is the time to take this one further.
Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey had this to say on the deal and potential film franchise.
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. We’re excited to grow our agreement and make even more movies based upon these popular and powerful Hasbro characters and their worlds.
Hasbro and Allspark Pictures put storytelling at the center of everything that we do. These brands are filled with memorable stories and vivid characters, and this universe creates a framework for how they will become interconnected. Extending our partnership with Paramount allows us to continue our long-term strategy and overall vision to build dynamic worlds for all of our brands, and we are thrilled to collaborate with them as we develop these properties.
What would this entail exactly? Well, we already have the above mentioned brands, but we would also see team-ups in the future with some of the more obscure toy lines of old. Micronauts, Visionairies, M.A.S.K (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM have all been mentioned. Now all these have a lot of potential and are quite visually striking, so they should fit straight into a cinematic setting. M.A.S.K for example has vehicles that change from one thing to another and with high tech funky head wear that has weaponry of its own, so you can see the potential there. Visionairies has futuristic knights with holographic creations coming out of their chests and totem masts for goodness sake! This could go really, really well if handled correctly.
Of course, that’s the big question here. Each studio works on its own style. Marvel tend to be a lot brighter and cheery than the DC movie counterparts. Paramount has a mixed bag here with G.I. Joe being incredibly silly and pop corny, while Transformers tries to have a harder edge feel to it. With the original shows they are based on for the most part being exciting and quirky pieces of entertainment would giving them a harder edge work in their favor or not? Also the fact that a lot of the movies that have been talked about so far have been critically panned may not help Paramount in the long run either.
What’s more interesting for me is the potential for other crossovers in the future. Back in the ’80s Hasbro owned Kenner, a toy company a lot of these brands are taken from. Now some of these licenses could well have expired, but they did own the rights to create toys based on The Centurions, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, SilverHawks and even Stretch Armstrong. How cool would it be to see these toy lines hit the big screen?
Want to indulge yourself in all things ’80s? Grizzly Bomb has some great articles on the best of 80s comedies, horror and action. For more animated high jinks then look here for our choice of the top superhero cartoons out there. Finally you can enjoy some 80s inspired art with 8-Bit Zombie.
Images: Kenner, Hasbro, Marvel Studios,
Walt Disney Studios, Allspark Pictures.