The Action Man movie is on like Donkey Kong, with The Muppets director James Bobin set to helm the project. The movie was first talked about as a movie back in 2012 when Emmett/Furla Films secured the rights from Hasbro. Additionally, movies for Monopoly and Hungry Hungry Hippos were to be made, but none of those projects ever got off of the ground. Monopoly was supposed to be the first of the Hasbro movies to start production in 2013, but was later announced again in 2015.
Action Man is being written by Paddington 2 scribe Simon Farnaby, which is promising for the project along with James Bobin. The solid partnership will bring England's answer to America's G.I. Joe to the big screen. No release date has been set and the movie is said to be in the very early stages of pre-production. It will be interesting to see what kind of demand there is for an Action Man movie. Paramount and Hasbro have yet to make a comment about the release, so there's not a whole lot of information out there as of now.
The Action Man figures were put out in the UK by Palitoy as a licensed copy of America's G.I. Joe in 1966. In 1964 Palitoy sales director Hal Belton brought a new toy from America called G.I. Joe to give to his grandson. Later, he realized that it was well received by his grandson and his friends so he took the toy and presented it to general manager Miles Fletcher. Fletcher and his production director Brian Wybrow contacted Hasbro at the New York Toy Fair the following year and a deal was struck. Samples were then acquired from Hasbro and marketing research was carried out, which had Palitoy employees take samples home for their children to test.
Action Man was an instant hit amongst children in the UK and was produced from 1966 to 1984. During the first four years of production, the toys were replicas of the American G.I. Joes, but they were later changed to reflect the military uniforms of the UK in 1970, while keeping the same figures. Additionally, Palitoy started upgrading the toys, giving them gripping hands and adding weapons that were not seen in their American counterparts.
As previously noted, it will be interesting to see how well the Action Man movie is received in the United States. Paddington 2 is continuing to rake in the money at the worldwide box office, so Action Man may be able to benefit from having the same screenwriter. James Bobin started his career on the Ali G Show and is the co-creator of Flight of the Conchords and was recently attached to direct the 21 Jump Street and Men in Black crossover movie that has since been put on hold for the time being. You can check out the announcement of the Action Man movie via Deadline.