Last December, Paramount Pictures announced the development of a shared cinematic universe based on their Hasbro properties – including G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), Micronauts, Visionairies, and ROM – similar to the one they are currently working on for their extremely lucrative Transformers franchise. The next logical step was to assemble a team of creative samurai to help them foster Hollywood’s latest attempt to one-up Marvel to the silver screen.
The studio just announced that they have put together a jaw-dropping writers’ room that includes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Wonder Boys) and Eisner Award-winning comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Saga).
Paramount even borrowed a few scribes from Marvel Studios’ bullpen – Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel), Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther), and the Spider-Man: Homecoming team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein. Cheo Coker, the showrunner for Marvel’s upcoming Luke Cage series at Netflix, has also joined the team.
Akiva Goldsman is set to oversee the writing ensemble and executive producer all of the films that emerge from this think tank; he serves in a similar capacity on the Transformers multi-film project. Hasbro’s film company Allspark Pictures will produce the films, with the company’s chairman and CEO Brian Goldner and executive vice president and CCO Stephen Davis serving as producers and their storytelling head Josh Feldman serving as a co-executive producer.
Davis expressed his enthusiasm at the writers who will be working to create Hasbro’s cinematic universe:
“We first and foremost put together a list of writers who we wanted to be in business with and could be the world-builders that we needed. But we want to be sure that in the room we have diverse perspectives, diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences.”
The Hasbro properties tend to skew towards male audiences, but the number of black and female writers who will be working on the shared universe films indicates the company and Paramount are shaping them to appeal to be more inclusive. “Female empowerment is a central theme through a lot of these properties and one of the reasons we wanted diverse voices,” said Davis.
Jeff Pinkner, who worked with Goldsman on the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower currently in pre-production at Columbia Pictures, is among the other writers Paramount hired to make viable feature endeavors out of some of Hasbro’s most beloved toy lines and leave plenty of room for the various properties to cross over with one another in a cohesive manner. The rest of the team includes Geneva Robertson, Lindsey Beer, and Nicole Riegel. Robertson is also one of the screenwriters on the Tomb Raider reboot, while Beer is working on the fifth Transformers movie and has recently been hired by Lionsgate to adapt Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle book series for the screen.
Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey is optimistic that this creative assemblage will yield many new profitable franchises for the studio:
“Bringing together a writers room of this caliber is a bold step for our partnership, and one that we believe is critical for building these brands into new, successful franchises for the future.”
Goldsman’s team is scheduled to have their first meeting next Monday on the Paramount lot.