Hasbro is moving full-steam ahead with their live-action cinematic universe thanks to their in-house division Allspark Pictures and their partnership with Paramount. In addition to continuing their Transformers and G.I. Joe feature franchises, plus the addition of the previously announced Micronauts movie and Dungeons & Dragons reboot, the Hasbro movie-verse is now branching out to lesser-known properties, starting with … Rom the Spaceknight?
As Deadline reports, that project gained some momentum recently with the announcement of Zak Penn (Ready Player One) as its screenwriter. Hasbro/Paramount previously established a writers room as a sort of think-tank to establish the overall arc for the films. Penn wasn’t a part of that initial braintrust, but it’s likely that the scaffolding for the film was in place before he signed on. No details are available either for Hasbro/Paramount of Penn’s take on the material, so stay tuned. Currently, there’s no release date set for ROM since it’s still in the scripting phase, but Hasbro/Paramount does have an untitled “event” film on the books for a 2021 release.
For the uninitiated, Rom the Spaceknight was originally a creation from the minds of Scott Dankman, Richard C. Levy, and Bryan L. McCoy, the toy was sold to Parker Brothers, a Hasbro subsidiary these days. The cosmic cyborg superhero was a departure for the board game-friendly company and, eventually, the toy spawned a Marvel Comics storyline by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema to pump up awareness and sales numbers. Oddly enough, the comic outlasted the toy’s popularity; a new IDW publication of the property picked up nearly 30 years after the end of the Marvel run.
Known as Rom, Rom: Spaceknight, Rom the Spaceknight and simply ROM, the Marvel take on the character saw the cyborg have origins in a utopian society on the planet Galador. Leading the technologically advanced Galadorians in a never-ending battle against the dark magic-powered Dire Wraiths, Rom’s adventures span the cosmos and inevitably bring the conflict, of course, to Earth. Rom’s weapons/gadgets include a Neutralizer, which totally doesn’t annihilate enemies and turn them into a pile of ash but rather opens a portal into limbo and banishes them there (…), an Analyzer which allows him to see through Dire Wraith’s cloaking and transforming powers, and a Universal Translator, which cuts down on communication issues.
There’s plenty of story, history, and gadgetry to mine here, especially with IDW’s relatively new addition to the canon, but it’s an odd property to pick as the next big feature from the Hasbro/Paramount team. Then again, Micronauts isn’t exactly as recognizable as G.I. Joe and Transformers. Either way, I’m excited for more classic Hasbro adaptations, but I’ll be thrilled when we get some news on M.A.S.K. and Visionaries.