Hasbro Plans 'Hungry Hungry Hippos' and 'Action Man' Movies
Battleship was one of the biggest commercial whiffs of 2012, but that isn't keeping parent company Hasbro from trying to turn more of its toy properties into films -- starting with Hungry Hungry Hippo and Action Man.
The toy company previously had a partnership with Universal, but enthusiasm for its projects there -- including a Ridley Scott-produced "adaptation" of Monopoly -- cooled after Battleship failed to produce on the studio's $200 million-plus investment.
Undeterred, Hasbro has reportedly inked a deal with Emmett/Furla Films, whose $525 million bankroll should help keep the pump primed for more Hasbro product -- and given that their other properties include G.I. Joe and the megabucks Transformers franchise, it's easy to see the appeal for Hollywood.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Emmett/Furla is already making plans, with Hungry Hungry Hippos earmarked to become "an animated movie for children." The future for Action Man, is a little murkier, not least because it was developed as a British spin on G.I. Joe -- and with Stretch Armstrong set up at Relativity, the risk for Hasbro action-hero overload seems a mite high.
Emmett/Furla seems to have learned at least one lesson from Battleship, however: Keep your budgets down. As studio principal Randall Emmett put it to the L.A. Times, "Everything is about how you approach it in price. We're excited to make these movies in budget ranges where we are comfortable."