Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn has signed up to adapt ROM: Spaceknight for Hasbro’s recently launched Allspark Pictures and Paramount. The news comes just a couple of months after a pair of screenwriters once assigned to the Hasbro writers' room said it was unlikely a ROM movie would ever happen. Apparently, Hasbro had other ideas.
Hasbro's ROM began life as a simplistic old-school toy robot named COBOL after the programming language. The character later underwent a name change after a sale to board game manufacturers Parker Brothers, who subsequently licensed the character to Marvel to create a comic book. At Marvel, ROM became re-imagined as ROM: Spaceknight, a cyborg strikingly similar in design to a Transformer. ROM received a whole backstory where he came from the planet Galador, and possessed powers like superhuman strength, self-repair ability and space flight.
As reported by Deadline, Allspark and Paramount will move forward on bringing ROM: Spaceknight to the screen with Ready Player One writer Zak Penn handling the screenplay. Penn also confirmed the news about ROM to us, during an interview where he was promoting Ready Player One. That said, this may come as unwelcome news to fans of the Marvel comics, who would prefer to see ROM enter the MCU. Marvel, however, lost the rights to the character years ago, making an MCU ROM an impossibility barring a deal. Now it seems Hasbro is intent on making their own ROM film a reality.
ROM: Spaceknight screenwriter Zak Penn first came to prominence when at the tender age of 23 he sold his script The Last Action Hero - which later became a notorious bomb starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. He later went on to tackle writing chores on numerous big superhero movies, including X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers. Penn also wrote the script for Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel. After some negative early buzz due laregly to questionable marketing, the nostalgia driven Ready Player One received rave reviews following its SXSW screening. Penn recently revealed he may soon return to write another Marvel movie. The writer also is involved in creating a Matrix reboot, with plans for a possible expanded universe.
The supposed big plan for Hasbro and Paramount is to create their own shared cinematic universe bringing together Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Action Man, Micronauts, Visionaries and ROM: Spaceknight. Out of all those titles, only Transformers has a true blockbuster track record. Hasbro and Paramount also tried with G.I. Joe, but few people love those movies today. Nevertheless, Paramount has nailed down a release date for a new G.I. Joe movie, in addition to Micronauts. And later this year, the Transformers universe gets its first spinoff with Bumblebee. ROM: Spaceknight now looks like it has a chance to join those other titles on some future release schedule.
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018