Shared universes have been around since ancient people exchanged stories with each other to explain rain and fire. Marvel Studios just perfected the idea. In the wake of their unprecedented success, competing studios are scrambling to catch up. Warner Brothers, of course, is building toward their big Justice League romp. As of late, Paramount is officially on board with the announcement of a universe uniting Hasbro properties G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), and ROM. The films will be produced by Allspark.
Through the years, fans of these toy lines have seen incarnations including comic books, cartoon series, and in the case of G.I. Joe, two big screen adaptations. Hasbro chairman Brian Goldner said of the merger, “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.” As was done with the Transformers series, Allspark will establish a writers’ room to map the creative flow of these future releases.
The decision to link these characters and these worlds is interesting, but not surprising. Paramount’s Transformers franchise is a cash cow, having grossed more than $3.8 billion to date. Let’s just hope the spirit of the source material doesn’t get lost in all the Bayhem.
At this point, the only question remaining is if there’s room on this train for Jem and the Holograms.