When it comes to movie franchises based on beloved 1980s toy lines, Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are the clear champions, having earned over $3 billion worldwide over the course of the four films. But while G.I. Joe got just as much playtime in my house as Optimus Prime and his buddies, the Joe films haven’t been nearly the box office monsters as their transforming buddies. The first Joe movie, which holds the distinction of being nearly as bad as the worst of Transformers, earned $302 million, and the much-improved G.I. Joe: Retaliation pulled in $375 million. Maybe all the Joes need to take things to the next level is a team-up…say, with a bunch of giant robots who can turn into cars. It might sound far-fetched, but producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura isn’t ruling out the possibility.
Ever since Marvel Studios took a risk with the films leading up to The Avengers, other movie studios and producers are looking to replicate that shared-world success with other popular franchises. From X-Men: Days of Future Past to the Justice League, crossovers and team-up movies should be a hot new trend in Hollywood going forward. In that regard, can Paramount and Hasbro do the same thing with the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises?
In an interview with Cinema Blend, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talks about the possibilities of making a Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover movie. Transformers and G.I. Joe both take place in the same Hasbro universe, and have appeared in each other’s comic book stories from time to time. Bonaventura realizes that both franchises can team up, but he would rather keep them separate to fully take advantage of their rich mythologies. Bonaventura explains:
I don’t know necessarily why, but I just think there’s so much that’s so rich in the mythologies that I don’t think they need to draw from the other. I think, I didn’t rule it out for me and I think those things have somehow for me, sort of in the past, they made me feel like a little bit cynical exercises in just drawing money out of something. It’s not to say you couldn’t do it well, but both these properties have such rich mythologies with so many characters, that you could go a lot of movies before you start running out of ideas of what to do. But it’s not to say, if we found the right… I’d hate to set out to do that, but if I heard a story where we went, ‘Oh my God…,’ I could see a story right now about machination, machination of war and that could lead you sort of intrinsically to a Transformer.