Having mined green ogres, DreamWorks has its sights on robots in disguise for its next franchise.
The studio is teaming with Paramount and toy company Hasbro to develop a live-action pic based on Transformers, the car-robots that spawned a comicbook series, TV show and animated feature in the ’80s.
Steven Spielberg will exec produce the film, which is aiming for a summer 2006 release. Lorenzo di Bonaventura (“Constantine”), Don Murphy (“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”) and Tom DeSanto (“X Men”) will produce.
Hasbro will work with the production team on all aspects of the film’s creative development, marketing and merchandising.
Takara, the Japanese company that manufactured the toys upon which Transformers were based, will also be involved in development.
DreamWorks will handle the pic domestically. Paramount will distribute to international markets.
The Transformers are cars, trucks, planes and tanks which, when twisted, turn into giant robots. They are divided into camps of good (the Autobots) and bad (the Decepticons), who fight each other.
The Transformers’ bigscreen journey began last year when Murphy and DeSanto optioned the rights to the toys.
DreamWorks, New Line, New Regency and Paramount (which had initially passed on the project) aggressively pursued a deal. DreamWorks and Par emerged as victors, in part due to Spielberg’s involvement.