10.15.2016

Hasbro Cinematic Universe Writer Reveals Potential Details About M.A.S.K. Movie

It's been nearly 6 months since Hasbro announced the writing team for its cinematic universe project. If you listened to our M.A.S.K. Day 2016 podcast with Erik from Boulder-Hill.Net, we discussed that the project had been relatively quiet these past months and were anxiously awaiting an update. Thanks to an article published by the Wall Street Journal two days ago, we finally have some new details from Hasbro, writing room adviser Avika Goldsman, and his staff.

The article explains how Goldsman and his team have developed the profitable Transformers films for Hasbro including the current film Transformers: The Last Knight. The writers room for that project are also responsible for the upcoming Bumblebee film in 2018 and a 7th Transformers film scheduled to be released in 2019.

Goldsman, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, and several others are quoted during the article and give some insight into the current status of the separate Hasbro Cinematic Universe project announced on December 2015. Most of you probably already know that the project includes G.I. Joe., M.A.S.K., ROM, Visionaries, and Micronauts. 

It sounds like the HCU writers room have been really doing their homework over the past several months. The team "first figur(ed) out why these previously disparate characters would interact." Writer Michael Chabon says that they then "started with course details and then went through them in finer and finer detail until we had an internal chronology and outlines for each." Chabon also said their concepts promote diversity and that "if we came out of that room with one white male protagonist, I can’t think of who it is." According to Paramount CEO Marc Evans, it sounds like these concepts are ready to be turned into screenplays which will be followed by attaching directors to the chosen films.

While no official HCU film announcements were made, I took away several things from this WSJ article through the eyes of a M.A.S.K. fan. I have many questions as many of you do and I feel like some potential details were revealed that might answer some of those questions. Here are some points i took from the article...

When will we see M.A.S.K. on the big screen? 

Goldner is quoted in the WSJ article that "we live in that world of five-year business plans, and we felt it would be great to connect partners like Paramount in that process." To me, that says we won't see M.A.S.K. on the big screen until 2021 at the earliest. Could we see a cameo in one of those Transformers movies? Maybe, but I would highly doubt it.

Will a M.A.S.K. movie resemble the new IDW comic book series?

First, the diversity quote from writer Michael Chabon above definitely corroborates the new look team that's featured in Revolution and the new standalone series debuting this November. Second and maybe more importantly, the articles tells of an idea for a new version of M.A.S.K. revealed by Avika Goldsman himself. 

Among the ideas they came up with were a “G.I. Joe” film set in World War II and a new version of M.A.S.K., the 1980s-era secret-agent series, that doesn’t feature the adult superspies seen in the cartoons but rather a multicultural group of youths in Detroit who come upon “magic technology” similar to what fans may remember. “That’s a story relevant for today, but if you remember the cartoon or the toy, we trigger your memory and you take a look,” Mr. Goldsman said.

Sound familiar? Back in 2011 we got what now appears to be this new version for M.A.S.K. in the Unit:E comic book released at New York Comic Con. This book also put the M.A.S.K. team on the streets of Detroit and told about discovering technology from "The League of Ancient Wheelmen." I'm not sure if Goldsman was actually referring to this comic book or the classic animated series when he said "similar to what fans may remember."

My question is why is Hasbro still hanging on to this concept after 5 years? I get the transition from adult to youth agents but why magic? Is this how you bring Visionaries into the picture by having the M.A.S.K. team discover their magic to develop the masks and vehicles? Seems a little forced to me but I guess I'll live with it if this does turn out to be what happens in the film.

Will we ever get new M.A.S.K. toys?

The WSJ article reported that if the Hasbro Cinematic universe is successful, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner thinks it "could help expand or relaunch other toy lines and by planning movies years in advance, Hasbro can present ideas for its brands to shareholders, retailers, and other partners." Though that's really a direct answer to my question, but I feel like a toy company would definitely make toys to support its films.

Conclusion

I'm still really excited to get a HCU film schedule and if they truly are in the screenplay stage, I'm confident it will be announced in 2017. As much as I enjoyed seeing M.A.S.K. pop up in the article multiple times, I'm not sure what to think about this "magic" angle. Of course in the animated series, it was pretty common for V.E.N.O.M. to track down mystical objects and treasures. But why not use the Cybertronian origin from the new comics that is seemingly laid out on a silver platter? But who knows what could happen in the next year or two that could scrap anything that's in place now.

I'm curious to hear your opinion about the information in this new WSJ article. Leave a comment below!

Headline photo: HASBRO's writers room via Paramont Pictures.

No comments:

Post a Comment