Friday, April 22, 2016

Writer's Room Members for Hasbro Cinematic Universe Revealed

Hasbro has announced the members of its Hasbro Cinematic Universe Writer's Room that they hope will kick off a slate of non-Transformers movies based on their properties. The list is impressive with a diverse writing style group with backgrounds in movies, TV, and comic books. The goal is to create story ideas for a unified universe of movies for G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. and ROM toy lines.

Akiva Goldsman - oversee the room (A Beautiful Mind)
Brian K. Vaughn (Ex Machina, Y: The Last Man [how is this not a TV series?], Saga, Under the Dome)
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Spider-Man 2)
Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel)
Lindsey Beer (Kingkiller Chronicle)
Cheo Coker (Luke Cage)
John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Joe Robert Cole (People vs OJ Simpson, Black Panther)
Jeff Pinkner (Fringe, The Dark Tower)
Nicole Riegel (Dogfight)
Geneva Robertson (Tomb Raider)

You may have noticed that this room has a higher female component then is normal for..well any Hollywood project really. That is because while these properties have traditionally been aimed at boys, Hasbro is hoping to avoid doing that this time around. “Female empowerment is a central theme through a lot of these properties and one of the reasons we wanted diverse voices,” [said Hasbro CCO Stephen Davis].

Clearly Akiva Goldsman took his Transformers experience and learned from it. The dozen writers blow what was assembled for the Transformers Writers Room out of the water. Brian K. Vaughn's writing history alone is responsible for most of the boom but still. This group has a very strong emphasis on imagination with most of the writers previously displaying a strong sense of story structure and character development. By contrast the TF writer's room had a very strong emphasis on spectacle with a dash of story structure and character development skill. Sounds overly critical and unimportant but that reverse and incorrect emphasis is how you get something like Batman v Superman. To put it more bluntly, spectacle is easy. Story and character is hard. This group makes the hard stuff look easy. Considering the properties they are tackling have languished for nearly 30 years (and often for good reason), it is going to be interesting to see what comes from their ideas over the next few years. The first meeting of the group will occur on Monday.

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