Getty Images / Marvel Comics
Paramount Pictures and Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures are moving forward with their planned shared universe with the first project with some forward movement being the planned ROM movie, based on the ’80s toy line and comics. Fresh off adapting Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One for Steven Spielberg, screenwriter Zak Penn has been attached to adapt the Hasbro property into a feature film.
Based on the toy and corresponding comic, ROM is a cyborg from the planet Galador who comes to Earth to battle the Dire Wraiths, an invading alien race who hopes to rule over Earth’s people.
Marvel Comics published the series ROM: Spaceknight between 1979 and 1986 in conjunction with its partnership with Hasbro that led to far more successful toy and comic properties with G.I. Joe and Transformers in the early ’80s. The character’s cult-following led to IDW publishing a new comic series in recent years, creating a shared universe with other Hasbro properties that Paramount and Allspark Pictures hopes to emulate.
ROM could be one of the titles Paramount recently dated for October 2021, although one presumes that Penn’s attachment might help the movie get fast-tracked for an earlier release date. The Hasbro property was one of the projects included as part of a writers room assembled in the summer of 2016 that included Spider-Man: Homecoming writers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who talked about it in our recent interview.
Represented by UTA and Jeff Frankel, Penn has established himself as a writer for comic book movies with the likes of X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra, The Incredible Hulk and Marvel’s The Avengers on his long list of comic adaptations. Penn sold his first screenplay for Last Action Hero at the age of 23, becoming a minor hit for Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1993. Penn is currently writing a script for Warner Bros. that’s set in the same universe as the Wachowskis’ The Matrix. Penn’s adaptation of Ready Player One will open on Thursday nationwide, hoping to bring in big business over Easter weekend.
The news was first reported by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor