Already a dominating force in the toy world, Hasbro made a grand entry into the live-action filmmaking realm with Michael Bay's monster smash Transformers in 2007. While some of Bay's Transformers sequels have done better than the others box office-wise, they've all been big hits - which explains why franchise is chugging along with the pending release of the fifth film in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, this June.
While Transformers movies have been a boon for Hasbro in theaters and at retail – each film comes with several new opportunities of movie toy representations of the characters – the toymaker hasn't had as great of luck with the big-screen adaptation of its G.I. Joe franchise. Sure, 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation were moderate hits, but had nowhere near the international blockbuster appeal of the Transformers movies. Nevertheless, Hasbro is going to continue to mine for The Golden Ticket that's eluded G.I. Joe to keep their box office winning streak alive.
Speaking with the LA Times about the company's upcoming Transformers and My Little Pony films, Hasbro executives say they have big plans to team up with Paramount Pictures for a reboot of the G.I. Joe franchise with “a more millennial approach.” Hasbro Consumer Products executive told the Times:
"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 Studios head, Chief Content Officer Stephen Davis, also noted that the company "hopes 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.”
Hasbro tells the LA Times that if all goes as planned, the G.I. Joe movie franchise will eventually become a shared cinematic universe that other Hasbro properties, such as ROM, Micronauts, Visionaries and M.A.S.K.
If the idea of a millennial-focused, shared Hasbro universe sends G.I. Joe faithful into a full-tilt panic, it appears there will be time for fans to breathe since movies about the projects are still reportedly in the writing phase. In the meantime, no matter how much Rise of Cobra and Retaliation disappointed fans and studio bean counters, there were moves that were made that came back to haunt filmmakers; moves that should be examined before any reboot.
The rise of Channing Tatum's popularity grew exponentially after the release of Rise of Cobra, and even though Duke was brought back for the sequel, the character was killed off with little fanfare in Retaliation's first act. Plus, when the reboot happens, whoever takes the helm should not be so quick to take Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Roadblock out of the equation. Johnston's star has not only risen considerably since Retaliation, he's become one of the most bankable stars in the world. Now that's an asset Hasbro shouldn't toy with.
Source: LA Times