G.I. Joe meeting the Transformers is the kind of bold, ambitious storytelling you can only find inside studio executive boardrooms and 7-year-olds’ bedrooms, but despite the grabbiness of the concept—and an entire comic series to draw from—it’s yet to be realized on screen. Director D.J. Caruso recently lamented this in an interview with Collider, revealing that his original treatment for the still-gestating G.I. Joe 3 ended with the two Hasbro worlds colliding at last, thus creating a veritable maelstrom of merchandising synergy and large, shouty things. But alas, Paramount—in a situation familiar to anyone who’s ever had a play-date with a tyrannical child—can’t touch those robots until Michael Bay is finished with them. “They will eventually collide those two worlds and it’s probably when Mr. Bay decides he’s done with Transformers,” Caruso says, a moment that will come only after the franchise ceases to be as lucrative, or when Bay’s seventh-grade peers start making fun of him.

In the meantime, Caruso says that he’ll begin stumping for some sort of follow-up to 2013’s Dwayne Johnson-starring G.I. Joe: Retaliation just as soon as he’s done promoting the return of Johnson’s candy-assed nemesis in xXx 3, acknowledging that the studio is still working out how to “really get it right” with the franchise and “push it to the next level.” Having G.I. Joe connect to the rest of Paramount’s planned “Hasbro universe” would certainly be one way. Or they could strap a bunch of Black Cats to it and blow them up in my friend Brent’s backyard. His mom usually doesn’t get home until 7.

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