When the news of the Marvel/Disney deal came down the pike the movie that most people wanted to see Pixar tackle (at least judging by feedback I got) was Micronauts. Unfortunately Marvel doesn’t own the rights to the tiny toys upon which they based the comic – Hasbro does. And now Hasbro wants to make a movie out of Micronauts with none other than JJ Abrams, geek of the hour.
The info is buried deep in a Wall Street Journal story about toys being the new stars in Hollywood, but it’s there: J.J. Abrams, who created the TV show “Lost” and directed this summer’s “Star Trek” film, is in discussions to produce a movie about Japanese toy line Micronauts, which Hasbro just acquired.
What’s interesting is that if Abrams signs on and the picture starts moving, it has to move quickly; Hasbro has deal points that ensure their projects don’t languish in development hell forever. From the WSJ: People familiar with the matter say he has brokered deals for Hasbro that include “saw teeth,” special provisions worked into a contract to protect the client. For example, studios must greenlight a movie within a number of weeks of acquiring it, or pay a $5 million kill fee directly back to Hasbro. “We wanted to be in the business of making movies, not deals,” says Hasbro’s Mr. Goldner.
That’s smart. So we could begin seeing some movement on JJ Abrams’ Micronauts quite soon. Will he try to buy the rights to the comic books, the only real mythology Micronauts has ever had, and likely what drew him to the project in the first place? We’ll see.