I loved the Transformers growing up. :clap:
‘Transformers’ rolling out in live-action pic
By Chris Gardner
“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.
“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,” Murphy said in a statement.
Added DeSanto: “Transformers is one of the properties I have been infatuated with for a long time. 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 onscreen.”
The Transformers brand centers on a group of robots that are able to change into a variety of objects, such as cars, trucks, planes, ships and other technological creations. The feature film will tell the story of an intergalactic war between two races of robots: the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. When their fight comes to Earth, the future of humanity inevitably hangs in the balance.
“We loved the creative take that Tom and Don presented to us,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group. “And for Hasbro, the center of our corporate strategy is extending our core brands in a variety of entertainment forms, so it’s a win-win situation for us. This is a franchise where the next story arc and the next destination is on the big screen. It really takes us to the next level.”
The Transformers was introduced in the United States by Hasbro in 1984 as a boy-friendly toy line. But even though the brand has been around awhile, it enjoys continued success, with sales up 64% in 2002 over 2001, according to Hasbro. Currently, they can be seen seven times a week via the series “Transformers Armada” on the Cartoon Network. According to Hasbro, additional television programs and comic books are on the schedule for 2004.
The only time Transformers came to the big screen was in 1986 with the animated feature “The Transformers: The Movie.”
DreamWorks, Paramount prime for Transformers
By Borys Kit
DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures have acquired the movie rights for the Transformers, Hasbro’s toy line of giant robots that morph into cars, trucks, planes, ships and other technological creations. Angry Films topper Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto, who exec produced the two “X-Men” films, are producing the live-action feature, along with Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Steven Spielberg will executive produce.
In the protracted negotiations, DreamWorks beat out several other studios, with Spielberg reportedly involved in acquiring the rights. Paramount is taking international distribution rights, while DreamWorks will handle domestic.
The Transformers are divided into two groups of robots, one led by Optimus Prime, who believes in tolerance and the sanctity of life, the other by Megatron, who espouses survival of the fittest and the extermination of biological life.
DeSanto wrote the story that the movie will be based on. No screenwriters are attached.
“We will be simplifying the universe and getting back to core, character-driven science fiction,” DeSanto said. “It will look like nothing you’ve seen before on a movie screen.”
Di Bonaventura said the toy line debuted in 1984, and two generations have grown up identifying with the mythologies of the Transformers, which has been developed further through comics and several cartoon series.
“It’s a very rich mythology, one that many intellectual properties do not have, and we will draw on that,” Di Bonaventura said.
Brian Goldner, president of Hasbro Toys, said, “This is one of Hasbro’s biggest global brands—75% of young men have played with Transformers—and we expect big things. We know this team will deliver big things. The stars are aligned.”
Hasbro will work with the production team, DreamWorks and Paramount on all aspects of the film’s creative development, marketing and promotions and will manage merchandising in conjunction with the release of the film. Hasbro also will team with Takara, who has been the co-developer of the Transformers brand since its beginning in the early 1980s.
The film is slated for a summer 2006 release. DreamWorks head of production Adam Goodman is overseeing.
Murphy’s producing credits include “Natural Born Killers,” “Apt Pupil,” “From Hell” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” He also is producing “Astro Boy.”
DeSanto co-produced “Apt Pupil,” and executive produced “X-Men” and “X2.” He also is executive producing “Logan’s Run” and “X-Men 3.”
Spielberg and Hasbro are all repped by CAA