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Hasbro Exec Teases Plans For Marvel-Style Cinematic Universe

If Hasbro has its way, your old toy collection is coming to a theater near you—and getting its own cinematic universe in the bargain.

The Los Angeles Times offers a peek behind the scenes of the toy giant's ongoing efforts to build a film dynasty out of its product lineup, with Hasbro Studios exec Stephen Davis laying out the company's ambitious plans to adapt a wide array of its offerings into big-screen adventures that will ultimately connect, Marvel-style. Referring to Hasbro's film branch as "a very well-funded start-up," Davis expressed his excitement over the "greater flexibility" they have now that they're developing movies in-house—although he didn't mince any words regarding the corporate synergy goals that ultimately fuel the whole thing, noting, "You clearly want to make a movie that stimulates the brand."

Until now, Hasbro's had something of a spotty track record where building franchises is concerned. The Transformers movies have made boatloads of money—and they're set to launch their own cinematic universe starting with the upcoming spinoff based around the Bumblebee character—but they've struggled to find a clear path forward for the G.I. Joe franchise, and stumbled badly with Battleship. According to Davis, the studio intends to rectify the former with a reboot that gives younger fans "a different kind of 'Joe.'"

"The world has changed, and I think you're going to see G.I. Joe changing with it," added Hasbro's Simon Waters, who advocated a "millennial approach" for the future of the films. "There's going to be a much more contemporary approach to the whole franchise, and that will allow us to develop different characters."

In addition to the pending G.I. Joe reboot—and more movies in the budding Ouija franchise—the Times' report suggested that future Hasbro films could be based on toys from the ROM, Micronauts, Visionaries, and M.A.S.K. lines, all of which are being developed in tandem with a concerted effort to branch out into mobile gaming. As Davis put it, "Kids and adults spend more time on their phones than on any other screen. The idea is for us to be on every platform." And on every stage, too: Monopoly the Musical, the company's first stage production, was announced last year.