Paramount has pushed back the releases of the next ‘GI Joe’ movie, and ‘Micronauts’, but you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t even realize either of these were still in the works. Paramount released two ‘GI Joe’ movies, 2009’s ‘GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra’ and 2013’s ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’, which was a soft reboot, after ‘The Rise of Cobra’ did so poorly. But ‘Retaliation’ did even worse. In 2015, Paramount announced plans to create a shared universe of films based on Hasbro toys, which would (hopefully) reinvigorate ‘GI Joe’, and connect those films with new franchises, ‘Micronauts’, ‘M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand)’, ‘Visionaries’, and ‘ROM’. Excluded would be the one Hasbro franchise that was (at that time) actually working for Paramount, ‘Transformers’.
Paramount assembled a big writers room to try and weave together these disparate franchises, but it’s been four years with very little buzz on any of these, so it seemed logical to assume they’d been scrapped. After all… look at what happened to poor ‘Jem & the Holograms’! (Or better yet, don’t!) Last year, there was talk that a new ‘GI Joe’ movie, focusing on ‘Snake-Eyes’ was in the works, but Ray Park announced he would not return in the role. Robert Schwentke (‘R.I.P.D.’) may be directing.
Now comes word that ‘GI Joe 3’/’Snake-Eyes’ has been pushed from March 27, 2020, to October 16, 2020. That’s not much of a delay, and logic would indicate that this needs to start filming this year in order to make that date.
It just so happens that the new date was the date originally set aside for ‘Micronauts’. That film has now been pushed to June 4, 2021. ‘Micronauts’ might be one of the more obscure brands. It was originally a line of action figures and accessories with tiny interchangeable parts. This line eventually evolved into the toys that would be marketed in the US as ‘Transformers’.
In 2016, Paramount assembled a writers room headed up by Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon (‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay’), and comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (‘Y: The Last Man’, ‘Runaways’, ‘Saga’), plus Lindsey Beer (‘Chaos Walking’), Cheo Hodari Coker (showrunner of ‘Luke Cage’), John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, also attached to co-direct ‘The Flash’ movie), Joe Robert Cole (‘Black Panther’), Jeff Pinkner (‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ and its sequel), Nicole Riegel (‘The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards’), and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (‘Captain Marvel’, ‘Tomb Raider’). It’s unknown if any of them is still attached as many have moved on to other projects.
It also remains to be seen whether these new dates mean that Paramount still plans to bring ‘M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand)’, ‘Visionaries’, and ‘ROM’ to the big screen and if it still plans for them to occupy a shared universe.
‘GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra’ made $150M at the domestic box office, on a production budget of $175M. (Ouch.) With foreign ticket sales, it made $302M which probably wasn’t enough to break even once marketing is added in. ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’ swapped out most of the cast of the first movie, replacing them with Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis among others, but even with a smaller budget of $130M, it failed to match that with its domestic take of only $122M. Globally it made $375M.
But with the ‘Transformers’ franchise on the rocks, Paramount is probably banking on these other toy-based movies to pick up where they left off.
Are you excited (or even interested) that Paramount still plans on making movies based on these Hasbro properties?