Please add G.I. Joe to the list of live-action franchises that Hollywood is determined to turn into a cinematic universe, hoping to replicate the success (or at least the ticket sales) of Marvel’s movie output. The twist is that the plan is for this G.I. Joe-verse to include several other Hasbro action figure lines, including M.A.S.K., Visionaries, Rom: Space Knight, and the Micronauts.
To tell you the truth, I was all set to make a rude gesture at the news of a GI Joe Cinematic Universe until I saw the details from The Hollywood Reporter that it will be an “interconnected, cross-property onscreen universe, featuring characters from five of Hasbro’s other brands: G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and ROM.” If there’s a way to make a G.I. Joe Cinematic Universe unique from all the other cinematic universes (such as Marvel, DC, Universal Monsters, Godzilla, and Hasbro’s own Transformers) adding these other weird toylines to the mix is definitely the way to go. I mean, M.A.S.K. is the only toy/cartoon/series that kind of works with G.I. Joe: the Micronauts are a microscopic scifi fantasy; ROM is about a space-traveling robot; and Visionaries is about magic aliens with holograms. I have a hard time imagining Leoric the Spectral Knight hanging out with Roadblock anytime soon.
There are only two other issues that I can see: 1) No one gives a shit about Micronauts, ROM or Visionaries. Oh, there are a few die-hard fans of each, but M.A.S.K. is the “biggest” favorite of the bunch, and I have severe doubts that Hasbro would make their money back on a M.A.S.K. film, let alone movies based on the other three properties.
2) The only Hasbro crossover that fans and mass audiences would actually want to see is G.I. Joe/Transformers, and it appears that Paramount is completely ignoring this idea for the time being. I don’t really know why; maybe they think they combining the two would hurt the profits they might make by turning both series into separate franchises. I believe the first G.I. Joe/Visionaries movie should disavow them of that idea pretty quickly.
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