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A few months ago, we reported that Paramount was planning to build a shared universe around its Hasbro properties, not including ‘Transformers’ which appears to be getting its own shared universe.  But the studio hoped to build on its lackluster ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise with movies based on ‘M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), ‘Micronauts’, ‘Visionaries’ and ‘ROM’.

Things appear to be moving forward, as Paramount has assembled its writers room for these projects and the list is pretty impressive.  First is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, who penned the acclaimed novel ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’.  Also in the mix is Eisner Award-winning comic writer Brian K. Vaughan, the creator of ‘Y: The Last Man’, ‘Pride of Baghdad’, ‘Runaways’ and current smash ‘Saga’.  He has also served as a producer on TV series ‘Under The Dome’ and ‘Lost’.

Who else will be helping to build this universe:

  • Lindsey Beer, writer of ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’ for Lionsgate
  • Cheo Coker, showrunner of Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’
  • John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’
  • Joe Robert Cole, ‘American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson’ and Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’
  • Jeff Pinkner, ‘Stephen King’s The Dark Tower’
  • Nicole Riegel, ‘The Heyeday of the Insensitive Bastards’
  • Geneva Robertson, the new ‘Tomb Raider’ reboot

Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey stated:

“Bringing together a writers room of this caliber is a bold step for our partnership, and one that we believe is critical for building these brands into new, successful franchises for the future.”

Akiva Goldsmith is on hand to oversee this group, as he has the ‘Transformers’ franchise.  Also on hand are Hasbro’s chairman and CEO Brian Goldner and executive vice president and CCO Stephen Davis, who will produce.  Co-executive producing is Josh Feldman, head of Hasbro’s storytelling.

Davis says:

“We first and foremost put together a list of writers who we wanted to be in business with and could be the world-builders that we needed.  But we want to be sure that in the room we have diverse perspectives, diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences… Female empowerment is a central theme through a lot of these properties and one of the reasons we wanted diverse voices.”

If he says so.  ‘G.I. Joe’ has some of the best female characters ever, but in ‘M.A.S.K.’ and ‘Visionaries’, the female characters were sort of tacked-on tokens and technically, ‘ROM’ is just one toy, a male robot.  (The comic book added a female star, but since that was published by Marvel, it’s unclear if they can draw from that mythology.)

What do you think?  Are these retro brands in good hands?  Can obscure properties like ‘Visionaires’ and ‘ROM’ draw modern audiences?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter