Back in early 2016, cinematic universes were all the rage. Anyone who had a modicum of intellectual properties that they could string together seemed to be starting up some kind of shared movie series that would reap untold billions and set the world ablaze. That plan has worked out pretty well for Marvel so far. That plan has shown mixed results for DC. And that plan really, really did not work out for Universal’s Dark Universe. So really, the cinematic universe is a bit of a mixed bag proposal, sometimes from a financial perspective and often from a creative one.
That didn’t stop the fine people at Hasbro from looking around at all of their intellectual property and asking themselves, “what about us?” And so, they started stockpiling writers, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon and Eisner Award-winner Brian K. Vaughn, to set out and create some kind of shared cinematic universe for properties such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, and M.A.S.K. Other than the continued financial storm that is the Transformers movie series, we didn’t hear much else about these big plans.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter has shared Hasbro’s (and Paramount’s) big plans for their burgeoning movie empire, and they are indeed grand.
G.I. Joe will arrive in theaters on March 27, 2020. While Paramount previously released two G.I. Joe films, they were financial and critical duds, and you can expect this to be a reboot from the ground up. Hopefully this time, they’ll pay for some better CGI.
Later in 2020, they’ll release Micronauts, based on the toyline that features a microscopic race of alien warriors from an alternate dimension. Perhaps they’ll be trying to position that as their Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, though we’re wondering how they’ll account for the whole microscopic thing. That film is set to hit theaters on October 16.
After that, Paramount has claimed July 23, 2021, for the release of Dungeons & Dragons. We’re guessing they’ll want to move on from the Jeremy Irons-led adaptation that was released in 2000 and instead start fresh. There’s a ton of potential in this property, not only given its adoring fanbase but also in the possibilities of a Lord of the Rings-type franchise.
After that, Paramount has claimed October 1, 2021, for an untitled Hasbro film. The other properties that were discussed when the Hasbro Cinematic Universe was first announced were Visionaries, M.A.S.K., and ROM, so perhaps one of those gets slotted in there. Or, if they feel strong enough about doing some kind of crossover event (Transformers vs. G.I. Joe?), they could do it here as well.
The announcement didn’t include any director, writer, or casting news, so we’ll just have to wait and see if A-list talent wants a piece of what Hasbro’s selling. The potential is there for these films to do well, but as we’ve learned so far, a cinematic universe can go a whole lot of ways and not all of them are good.