Hasbro Studios has already found massive success in Hollywood thanks to the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises, but now the production company is pushing to expand its slate with a new animated project adapted from one of Hasbro’s most bizarrely enduring (not to mention colorful) brands. That’s right – come 2017, Hasbro will be unveiling a My Little Pony movie on, according to studio prexy Stephen Davis, “the broadest possible number of screens.”
Joe Ballarini (Ice Age: Continental Drift) is currently working on a script for the film, which Megan McCarthy, a producer and writer for the series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, will co-executive produce. Though details on the feature-length adaptation are otherwise being kept under wraps, David noted that “we have a lot of experience working on this particular brand” and indicated that the budget for an animated film like the My Little Pony movie does not need to exceed $100 million, unlike some of Hasbro Studios’ other tentpoles.
For the My Little Pony project in particular, Hasbro must rely on the property’s small but loyal fanbase to turn it into a full-fledged film franchise. After first being introduced in 1983, the franchise, which centers on animated ponies with vibrant bodies, manes and individualized “cutie marks” on their flanks, has been revamped multiple times with different generations of figurines and TV shows. Direct-to-video films and the current TV series (the 100th episode of which will air soon) have both been warmly received, both by the target demographic of young girls and by an unexpectedly large group of young to middle-aged men, who call themselves “bronies” and often dress up to attend fan conventions.
Hasbro Studios is producing and financing the project in-house, with possible plans to use its new label Allspark Pictures to team up with another company and co-finance My Little Pony.