With the fifth movie in the Transformers movie series gearing up for release in June, Hasbro execs have revealed to The LA Times their plans for a wider cinematic universe beyond the blockbuster franchise.
In addition to a spin-off to the Transformers franchise in the form of a stand-alone Bumblebee movie, the toy giant has confirmed plans to return to the G.I. Joe franchise with new films in the near future. Hasbro is also starting to take a more active role in producing and financing some of its projects.
This represents a strategic shift for Hasbro. In the past, the company has acted as a non-financing producer on movies based on its toys and games, partnering with studios and other production houses. Hasbro doesn’t license its brands to Hollywood studios, choosing instead to participate in the development, writing and marketing processes.
“The world has changed, and I think you’re going to see G.I. Joe changing with it,” Simon Waters, head of consumer products at Hasbro Studios, told The LA Times.
“There’s going to be a much more contemporary approach to the whole franchise, and that will allow us to develop different characters."
"We hope 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,” added Stephen Davis, chief content officer, Hasbro.
It has been reported that this cinematic universe will go on to incorporate characters from other popular Hasbro properties including ROM, Micronauts, Visionaries and M.A.S.K, if initial efforts are successful.
Hasbro Studios has recently doubled its office space, in order to foster a close physical collaboration between the entertainment and toy design teams.
This year’s animated My Little Pony movie will be the first feature to release under the newly founded Allspark movie label, which is set to hit cinemas in October.