Remember ROM the Space Knight? Like many ’80s properties, ROM began as a toy line before gaining wider frame outside the toy realm. In his case, it was in the pages of Marvel Comics where he really came into his own, but now the character is finally set to make the leap to the big screen in what will surely be his biggest break yet.
According to Deadline, Zak Penn — the screenwriter behind such films as X-Men United, The Incredible Hulk, and Ready Player One — will next begin penning the script for a ROM Space Knight movie. The film is slated to be a part of Hasbro’s planned cinematic universe, which will also include films centered around other beloved ’80s properties like M.A.S.K., Micronauts, G.I. Joe, and Transformers.
ROM, an alien cyborg who battles evil alien creatures known as the Dire Wraith, began as a toy produced by Parker Brothers (which later became a subsidiary of Hasbro) in 1978. In December of the following year, Marvel Comics began producing a self-titled comic book series about the character that lasted until 1986 — far longer than the actual toy, which was a bit of a bust. Marvel eventually lost the rights to ROM, but the character was licensed by IDW Comics in 2015, and they began producing their own ROM series.
It’s unclear what exactly would be included in a ROM film. Much of the character’s known backstory — his cyborg nature, home planet of Galador, and archenemies the Dire Wraith — were created by Marvel, so it could become murky if Paramount wants to include those elements in a non-Marvel film. However, IDW has kept much of what Marvel created for their own comics stories, so it could be that whatever Marvel made in respect to ROM reverted back to Parker Brothers (Hasbro) when their license expired.
Whatever the case with his rights, it sounds like ROM the Space Knight will soon be defending the galaxy’s innocent at a theater near you.