The long-dormant ‘Micronauts’ movie– a joint venture between Hasbro and Paramount– is back in development. Dean DeBlois wrote and directed Dreamworks’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ saga. His film directorial debut was the beloved Disney classic ‘Lilo and Stitch’. DeBlois is set to make his live-action writing and directing debut with this new project.
Hasbro first announced a ‘Micronauts’ movie in 2009, to be crafted by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. In 2013, ‘Deadpool’s Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were working on the script. Then, in 2015, ‘Micronauts’ was included as part of a planned shared universe of movies based on Hasbro toys. The others were M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), Visionaries, Micronauts, and ROM, and they would all connect to the established ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise, but not ‘Transformers’.
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Introduced to the US in 1976 by the Mego toy company, ‘Micronauts’ was originally released in Japan under the name ‘Microman’, by Takara. The line featured intricately detailed 3¾” action figures, often with metallic or translucent parts. The action figures, vehicles, playsets, etc. had parts kids could take apart and reconfigure in as many different ways as they could imagine. The line lasted until 1980.
In Japan, ‘Microman’ continued to flourish and evolve. Later editions didn’t snap apart, but these robots could contort into cars, jets, and other vehicles and devices. In 1984, Hasbro began importing those under the name ‘Transformers’. (Weird, huh?)
Marvel published a ‘Micronauts’ comic book beginning in 1979, which greatly outperformed the toys, lasting until 1986. This comic was set within the mainstream Marvel Universe, with the characters teaming up with established heroes and battling their villains.
Though Marvel eventually let the license to ‘Micronauts’ lapse, any elements that were originated by Marvel remained theirs. You may have heard of one of these– the Microverse (‘Ant-Man’, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, ‘Avengers: Endgame’). This was the main setting for the comics.
It’s doubtful that DeBlois’s new film will follow the comics, as so much of that is owned by Marvel. It is said that the movie will focus on a group of “intergalactic explorers,” and will have a “family-friendly tone.”
Check back for updates. What do you think? Are you excited by the thought of a ‘Micronauts’ live-action movie?
‘Micronauts’ is already scheduled to hit theaters on June 4, 2021.