A decade ago, Hasbro launched the “Transformers” film franchise. While critically it remains something of a punching bag, its box-office success can’t be denied with the series’ four installments so far having raked in $3.77 billion at the global box-office to date.
Hasbro’s other attempts at films based on their properties have had much more mixed success. Both “G.I. Joe” films and “Battleship” took in $300 million worldwide – only a fraction of “Transformers” money. The much cheaper “Ouija” films have been a minor success as well.
Several years ago, Hasbro and Paramount assembled a “writer’s room” of numerous film scribes to plan out the future of the “Transformers” franchise with this new direction kicking off with “Transformers: The Last Knight” in June.
Shortly after they reportedly did the same for the “G.I. Joe” franchise though nothing specific seems to have come from that endeavour so far beyond rumors of the franchise incorporating some other Hasbro properties into it – such as “M.A.S.K.”.
In a new piece in The Los Angeles Times, several Hasbro executives have spoke about plans for more cinematic universes involving their intellectual property, along with taking a more active role in producing and financing – this October’s animated “My Little Pony: The Movie” being their first fully financed movie.
Most interesting though is that the article confirms the “G.I. Joe” franchise is dropping a second sequel in favor of a full reboot “with a revamped look intended to appeal to younger audiences”. It also confirms the rumors that Hasbro brands like ROM, Micronauts, Visionaries and M.A.S.K. could be incorporated in.
Hasbro’s global brand licensing chief Simon Waters talks about the new approach with the series which hopes to pull in the millenials:
“The world has changed, and I think you’re going to see G.I. Joe changing with it. There’s going to be a much more contemporary approach to the whole franchise, and that will allow us to develop different characters.”
Hasbro’s chief content officer Steve Davis adds:
“We hope to create a head snap. It’s a different kind of ‘Joe’ – one that still resonates with ‘Joe’ fans but brings in an uninitiated audience and expands the audience internationally and domestically.”
The projects are still in the writing phase, and Hasbro has declined to say when a first installment will be released. The company, which has an animated “Stretch Armstrong” series on the way for Netflix, also confirm that Hasbro’s biggest revenue generator, Nerf, will NOT be turned into a film.