Although shared universes in movies and television series have existed in media for some time, they've seen a particular rise in popularity since Marvel Studios united Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow from four separate film series in The Avengers. Ever since, other studios have been building or extending their own cinematic universes like 20th Century Fox's X-Men, Warner Bros.' DC Comics Extended Universe, Legendary Pictures' Godzilla and King Kong universe, as well as Universal Pictures' classic movie monsters.
Paramount also announced earlier this year the studio would be expanding their existing Transformers series into a cinematic universe, then hired a writers room team led by Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman to develop stories for their new endeavor. More recently, Paramount tapped Goldsman to helm writers rooms for both their ongoing G.I. Joe series as well as the upcoming franchise based on fellow Hasbro property Micronauts. Now it seems these two properties, as well as three others, will join forces in Paramount’s next foray into cinematic universe building.
THR is reporting Paramount has struck a new deal with Hasbro's Allspark Pictures to unite five of the toy company's brands into one shared cinematic universe. G.I. Joe and Micronauts will be joined by Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), and ROM The Spaceknight in Paramount and Hasbro's shared universe. Paramount will develop the film universe with Hasbro chairman/president/CEO Brian Goldner, Hasbro Executive VP/chief content officer Stephen Davis, and Hasbro head of film development Josh Feldman, with Allspark Pictures producing the features.
In a statement, Goldner spoke about how the new deal extends the partnership between Paramount and Hasbro, as well as what they hope to achieve with the new cinematic universe:
"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. Extending our partnership with Paramount allows us to continue our long-term strategy and overall vision to build dynamic worlds for all of our brands, and we are thrilled to collaborate with them as we develop these properties.”
Paramount and Hasbro have produced two G.I. Joe films so far - 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation - to mixed or poor reviews despite box office success. Additionally, a Micronauts film has been in the works for a few years with little momentum until the franchise's writers room was announced this year. As for Visionaries, M.A.S.K., and ROM, the properties were popular toys from the '70s and '80s - and all of which have seen a resurgence in the last few years thanks to Hasbro.
With all the shared universes in development, it may seem as though Paramount and Hasbro are attempting to cash in on this current trend of storytelling across multiple films and properties. Certainly there's plenty we still don't know about Paramount and Hasbro's next venture, like whether it will include the previously released G.I. Joe films in its continuity or who they plan to tap for the writers room. Additionally, since Transformers 5 - the first movie of Paramount and Hasbro's newly-developed shared universe - has yet to be released and is still currently in development, fans have little to go on when making assessments of the studios’ new universe.
That being said, similar to Marvel's Cinematic Universe, this new Paramount and Hasbro planned universe will allow lesser known properties to get their turn on the big screen. Before the successful 2014 film, very few casual moviegoers were knowledgeable of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but James Gunn's space adventure propelled the characters and MCU to critical and box office success. Now, Hasbro and Paramount's new deal could allow for similarly exciting storytelling and world-building using characters from the toy company’s brand. Of course, it's still too early on in development to say for sure, but there's certainly potential in this newest shared universe.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information about the Hasbro shared universe including G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, M.A.S.K., and ROM The Spaceknight as it becomes available.