"The Transformers" -- the ever-morphing Hasbro toy line introduced in the mid-1980s that has gone on to spawn comic books, multiple television series and an animated feature -- are being prepped to change shape again, this time into stars of the big screen. Angry Films topper Don Murphy (whose next film is "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") and writer-producer Tom DeSanto ("X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United") have teamed to produce a feature-length, live-action movie based on the popular brand. The duo are expected to shop the project to studios shortly, and DeSanto said they have already received interest from a handful of directors hoping to get involved in the project. DeSanto is currently working on a story treatment for the project before he and Murphy hire a screenwriter to adapt it for the big screen.
And Hasbro's official press release.
PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 11, 2003--Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) announced today that it entered into an agreement with the highly successful producers Tom DeSanto (X-Men and X2: X-Men United) and Don Murphy (currently producing 20th Century Fox's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) for a full length, live action movie based on Hasbro's enormously popular TRANSFORMERS brand.
"TRANSFORMERS enjoys an amazing fan base worldwide, and we believe that we can create an incredibly fast-paced, exciting movie that will be appealing to anyone who loves action films," said Don Murphy.
"TRANSFORMERS is one of those rare properties that has been embraced by a generation around the world. Like X-Men, TRANSFORMERS offers an amazing mythology with all the elements to create a successful ongoing franchise, iconic characters, global themes, and a world that has never been seen before on screen," said Tom DeSanto.
"The property has been successful in every arena it has played in throughout the world - toys, comic books, television - and we now believe it's time to take TRANSFORMERS to the next level, and into a live action event movie," continued DeSanto.
"We're thrilled to have entered into an agreement with the very talented and accomplished Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto," said Brian Goldner, President of Hasbro's U.S. toys group. "TRANSFORMERS is a natural for the big screen, and both Tom and Don have the track record and skill to bring to life a TRANSFORMERS movie that will be action-packed and flawlessly executed."
Hasbro's focus on the TRANSFORMERS brand is consistent with the Company's strategy of driving and extending its core brands through innovative toys and games as well as other forms of entertainment. TRANSFORMERS is one of the most popular boys toy brands, with sales up 64% in 2002 vs. 2001. First introduced in the U.S. market in 1984 as a toy line, the success of TRANSFORMERS continues to grow in a wide-range of entertainment categories. The hit television show TRANSFORMERS ARMADA airs on Cartoon Network seven times a week, with more than 12 million viewers. The show also airs in Europe and Australia. TRANSFORMERS ARMADA comic books, published by Dreamwave are also highly successful, with some of the most popular titles in the industry. The comic books are also translated and distributed in many markets around the world. There will be new TRANSFORMERS television programming and comic books launching in 2004.
"The Hasbro Properties Group (HPG) continues to deliver on its mission of extending Hasbro's rich portfolio of brands beyond toys and games and into multiple forms of entertainment," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, HPG President. "Our alignment with Tom DeSanto and Don Murphy demonstrates the power of our TRANSFORMERS brand and our determination to leverage our properties aggressively and creatively."
The Hasbro Properties Group develops and extends Hasbro's core brands, such as G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, MONOPOLY and CANDY LAND, into a wide variety of entertainment and consumer categories. Hasbro Consumer Products Worldwide is the licensing and promotions arm of the Hasbro Properties Group.
I just hope it doesn't suck.