Getty Images / Hasbro
Brian Robbins’ Paramount Players is developing a movie based on Hasbro’s military toy line ACTION MAN, a British counterpart to G.I. Joe, attaching James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords, The Muppets) to direct. The screenplay is written by Simon Farnaby (Paddington 2) with Hasbro producing the film.
Represented by UTA and Sloane Offer, Bobin cut his teeth writing and directing Sacha Baron Cohen’s Da Ali G Show before co-creating the HBO show Flight of the Conchords. Disney hired Bobin to direct The Muppets with Jason Segel and Amy Addams, as well as its sequel starring Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais. Bobin also directed the Johnny Depp sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, which wasn’t received nearly as well as the Tim Burton-directed original. Apparently, he is intimately familiar with the Action Man toys, having grown up in England and played with them as a kid.
It’s definitely an interesting decision by Paramount and Hasbro to team up on another possible toy-based action franchise as they already have a number in development at Paramount. Although Paramount Players has mostly been veering towards science-fiction projects, Action Man seems like it might be configured more as a family film based on Bobin’s past experience in that territory. Presumably the movie will do particularly well in England where the toys were so popular, and last year Hasbro released a new Action Man toy at London Toy Fair for the line’s 50th anniversary, presumably to remind the fans of the line’s existence.
Faranaby is represented by Independent Talent and Gallant Management.
Deadline initially reported on the project and Bobin’s attachment.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor