Universal Pictures and Hasbro, Inc. announced today that they have formed a six-year strategic partnership to produce at least four motion pictures based on some of the world’s best-known and beloved brands, including “Monopoly,” “Clue,” “Ouija,” “Battleship,” “Magic, the Gathering” and “Stretch Armstrong.” The announcement was jointly made by Marc Shmuger and David Linde, Chairman and Co-Chairman of Universal Pictures, and Brian Goldner, Hasbros Chief Operating Officer.
Under the terms of the deal, Hasbro will partner exclusively with Universal Pictures for feature films, with the exception of Transformers, which became the centerpiece of the 2007 smash hit movie directed by Michael Bay and has already spawned a sequel; and G.I. Joe, which is currently filming under the direction of Stephen Sommers. The first movie from this deal will be released in 2010 or 2011, and Universal will release at least one film a year thereafter.
“This deal gives Universal access to some of the greatest brands in the world,” explained Shmuger and Linde. “Hasbro’s portfolio of products has tremendous emotional resonance with children and adults. They offer an exciting opportunity for us to develop tentpole movies with built-in global brand awareness, which is a key component of our slate strategy.”
“Universal’s creativity and worldwide marketing and distribution strength make them the perfect partner,” said Goldner. “Today’s Hasbro is so much more than a traditional toy and game company, and this partnership is a powerful example of how we are offering our consumers new ways to enjoy unique and immersive experiences with our brands.”
As part of its commitment to expanding its presence in the world of entertainment, Hasbro has recently hired Lisa Licht as its new General Manager of Entertainment and Licensing; she is based in Los Angeles. In addition, in August 2007, Hasbro announced an agreement with Electronic Arts to develop digital games based on many of its properties across a variety of platforms.