Ever since Marvel Studios saw unprecedented success with its shared universe in The Avengers, other studios in the film industry have been working to build a similar structure into their own franchises - either with superheroes or other viable properties. Twentieth Century Fox is extending its X-Men universe to include standalone films like Deadpool and Gambit; Warner Bros. and DC Comics are officially launching their Justice League universe next year; Universal has plans for a shared universe of classic movie monsters. Meanwhile, Disney has also resurrected Star Wars for another set of installments as well as spinoffs.
Last year Paramount announced they were building their own shared universe using the established Transformers franchise and tapped a number of screenwriters to take the writer's room approach and generate more feature ideas. Now, following the success of that approach the studio has established writer’s rooms for their stalled G.I. Joe series and to launch a franchise based on the Micronauts toy line.
Deadline is reporting that Paramount has tapped Akiva Goldsman to supervise writers' rooms for the G.I. Joe series and a new franchise based on Hasbro's toy property Micronauts. Goldsman worked with Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura while overseeing the Transformers writer's room. According to Deadline, this move means Goldsman won't pen the next Transformers installment, but is negotiating with Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man) and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) from the writers' room to work on the script together.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, written by Stuart Beattie (I, Frankenstein), debuted in 2009 to mixed reviews, but made over $300 million at the global box office. The sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, penned by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland), was met with considerably less favorable reviews, but grossed over $375 million worldwide, proving the series has box office appeal. With regards to G.I. Joe 3, last we heard Aaron Berg (Section 6) was working with director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) on a fresh version of the script.
As for Micronauts, in 2013 Reese and Wernick said they had drafted a couple versions of a script based on the toy line for Paramount. More recently, Paramount brought in Tom Wheeler (Puss in Boots) to rewrite the Micronauts script, though it may be the case that he will actually join the franchise's writers' room. Before teaming with Paramount, Hasbro had been working to produce a Micronauts movie with J.J. Abrams.
Since it's still early days in these writer's rooms, it's unclear who the studio will tap, or whether they’ll ask any of the screenwriters that have previously worked on these franchises to join. But, based on the talent that joined the writer's room for Transformers - which additionally included Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2) and Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus, Daredevil) - it's likely Paramount will follow a similar path in gathering talented screenwriters to generate ideas of how to continue G.I. Joe and bring the Micronauts to the big screen.
That being said, although Paramount has confidence in their writers' room experiment as far as Transformers is concerned, moviegoers have yet to see the fruits of their labor. We don't yet know whether the writers' room approach, adapted from writers’ rooms on television series, will work for the big screen in terms of box office or critical appeal. However, at the very least, this latest development will hopefully jumpstart both the G.I. Joe and Micronauts franchises, both of which have been stalled for a number of years now.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information about the G.I. Joe and Micronauts franchises as it becomes available.