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Paramount and Hasbro are making an '80s toy cinematic universe

Paramount and Hasbro are making an '80s toy cinematic universe

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Considering how in vogue large-scale movie universes are these days, Paramount is already on its way to building its second one. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the studio and Hasbro have teamed up to create a massive, cross-property film universe, where the characters from the G.I. Joe series will collide with heroes and villains from four whole other brands: Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), and ROM the Space Knight.

Allspark Pictures, Hasbro's film studio, will produce the film, and Paramount and Hasbro plan on assembling a writer's room of some of Hollywood's best talent to get the universe off the ground. This move mirrors Paramount's earlier decision to mount a Transformers universe of sequels and spinoffs. That effort is being led by I am Legend writer Akiva Goldsman, and audiences will soon see the product of that work in the coming years.

It's clearer than ever that this is the status quo in Hollywood

Cobbling together a summer blockbuster series out of little-known toy brands from the '80s is a bet Paramount is clearly willing to take as it catches up to the rest of the industry. Without a bankable Transformers movie in theaters, the studio performed the worst of the seven major studios this year. Meanwhile, almost every other studio is either developing a connected universe or reaping the benefits. Marvel is the gold standard by now, but Warner Bros. is poised to make boatloads of cash with its DC Cinematic Universe. Fox has the X-Men and Deadpool. Sony, now forced to share Spider-Man with Marvel, is developing another universe with Valiant Comics characters. Even Universal, which made the most money of any studio in 2015, is building its own classic monster universe, starting with Dracula and the upcoming The Mummy reboot. It's now clearer than ever that this is the status quo in Hollywood, and Paramount is on the back foot.

The question is: should we expect a My Little Pony connected universe next?

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