While some of Hasbro’s film aspirations have floundered, ROM is yet to give up.
Deadline reports that Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn will adapt ROM for Hasbro’s movie arm, Allspark Pictures, and Paramount. Created by Scott Dankman, Richard C. Levy, and Bryan L. McCoy, the toy was eventually released by board game manufacturer Parker Brothers in 1979. A fairly simple figure with electronic components, the character became a beloved comic book hero in the pages of Marvel’s ROM: Spacenight series by Bill Mantlo with Sal Buscema, and later, Steve Ditko. The series ran for 7 years — much longer than the toy line itself — and saw ROM adventure throughout the Marvel Universe where he encountered Galactus, The Fantastic Four and other Marvel characters while also fighting his own long-term enemies, the Dire Wraiths.
After a number of acquisitions and reorganizations, ROM became part of Hasbro’s stable and the company chose to make the character a key asset in their nostalgia-driven collector enterprises. A special Revolution action figure set appeared at Comic-Con International San Diego in 2017 which included Jetfire from Transformers, Roadblock from G.I. Joe, various Micronauts, Matt Trakker from the M.A.S.K. toy line Hasbro inherited when they bought Kenner and Parker Brothers, and, of course, ROM, among other figures. The set tied into IDW’s Revolution event series and Hasbro’s plans to introduce all of the characters into the Transformers cinematic universe. Rumors even suggested ROM would be the character referenced in subtitle of the then-unreleased fifth Transformers film, The Last Knight.
Considering how much of people’s goodwill for the character stems from the Marvel series, it will be interesting to see how the project develops.
ROM is currently unscheduled.