Despite Hasbro’s attempts to launch a cinematic universe, G.I Joe and Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura reveals nothing came out of it.
Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins producer admits the Hasbro Cinematic Universe writers room didn’t work out. In the wake of the success of 2007’s Transformers, Hasbro started developing a number of their properties into feature films, including Battleship, Jem and the Holograms, and notably, G.I. Joe with two feature films released in 2009 and 2013. Yet development on a third film stalled and the studio opted to go with a film based on a single character in an attempt to do a prequel and reboot of the franchise similar to Bumblebee in 2018.
In 2015, in the midst of the growing success of the MCU, the early stages of the DCEU, Legendary Pictures announcing they were building a MonsterVerse, and Universal’s plans to start The Dark Universe, Hasbro decided they wanted to build a universe of their own. They made a deal with Paramount Pictures to develop a universe based on five of their properties; G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Rom, M.A.S.K., and Visionaries. Then in 2016, Hasbro assembled a writer’s room to create a shared universe that included many in-demand talents like Captain Marvel’s Nicole Perlmann, Black Panther’s Joe Robert Cole, Star Trek Picard’s Michael Chabon, and Spider-Man: Homecoming’s John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, just to name a few.
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However, it appears the work the writers room came up with didn’t pan out well, and the state of a potential Hasbro Cinematic Universe might be over. In an interview with EW, covering the first look at Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, Lorenzo di Bonaventura who has been a producer on all the G.I. Joe and Transformers films, spoke about how the room seemed like a good idea but didn’t generate much for them. So much so, that the upcoming Snake Eyes film didn’t even come from the writer’s room. Bonaventure said, “Really didn’t generate much for us…My opinion of that room was that never really worked very well unfortunately. It was a good idea.”
While the five properties were announced to be in development, outside of G.I. Joe, none of the other properties have made much headway. Dean DeBlois, director of the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy, was hired to direct Micronauts but the film was removed from Paramount’s release schedule. M.A.S.K. secured Straight Outta Compton director, F. Gary Gray, back in 2018 and Bad Boy’s For Life writer, Chris Bremner, was hired to write the script in 2020. No word has been made on Rom or Visionaries. In fact, Hasbro and Paramount have done more work for other standalone properties like the Transformers franchise and the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons film directed by the writers room’s own John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.
There was a certain amount of sense on Hasbro’s part to combine their various properties together, making them stronger together to deepen their respective mythologies. The cinematic universe landscape has changed quite a bit since 2016. While the MCU is still going strong, the many others have had to readjust plans. The DCEU is a vastly different place, moving away from director Zack Snyder and more towards a multiverse platform. The Mummy killed Universal’s plans for the Dark Universe, instead opting for a smaller budget and non-connected reimagining of their various characters, like 2020’s Invisible Man. The MonsterVerse seemed to be on its way out after the disappointing box-office of Godzilla: King of the Monsters but now may get a second shot of life due to the success of Godzilla vs. Kong. Hasbro has now focused on strengthening their core brands by reimagining them in a variety of ways, including a new Transformers film and Snake Eyes: G.I Joe Origins.
Next: Every Failed Attempt At The Dark Universe
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