Speculation was rife in Hollywood on Wednesday night (November 12) that Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation (DWA) was in early merger talks with toy giant Hasbro.

Such a move would enhance the studio’s ability to tap into commerical properties for mass-appeal films, television and, crucially, short-form content based on the Hasbro stable.

According to insiders who have spoken to Screen on condition of anonymity, short-form content creation is now of paramount importance to Katzenberg, some of whom say it has become his main creative focus.

DWA was also reportedly talking with Hearst to create a joint enterprise with the studio’s 2013 acquisition AwesomenessTV.

By the close of trading on Wednesday DWA’s market capitalisation stood at $1.9bn, compared to approximately $7.1bn for Hasbro.

The studio did not return calls.