Hasbro and Paramount have found box office gold with the Transformers franchise, despite reviews that have largely panned the last three efforts from director Michael Bay. The formula appears to be changing somewhat, as Hasbro Vice President Stephen Davis announced during a MIPJunior 2015 keynote with plans to borrow from Marvel Studios' playbook by planning ahead.
As picked up by TFW205, Paramount not only has Transformers 5 planned, but also Transformers 6, 7, 8. That's four live-action Transformers movies planned for the next ten years, until 2025.
"Well, you're going to see a new Transformers movie coming from Hasbro and Paramount and Michael Bay and our other partners," Davis said. "In fact, we just finished, as some of you may have read, just an incredible experience. We decided that we wanted to plot out the next 10 years of the Transformers franchise, so we got together in a room over a three-month period of time. Nine of some of the most creative writers I have ever worked with, shepherded by Akiva Goldsman, who many of you may know won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind and written a bunch of great movies. And they plotted out the next 10 years of Transformers. Similarly, we are doing the same in television and in digital. So stay tuned, Transformers 5 is on its way, and 6 and 7 and 8."
According to Coming Soon, this writers' room included The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, Fringe writer Jeff Pinker, Zak Penn from X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk, Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Lolan, Black List writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Christina Hodson, Daredevil showrunner Steven DeKnight, and a Stanford science major named Lindsey Beer who has written original specs in the sci-fi and fantasy genre.
That's quite the collection of writing talent and demonstrates a shift in direction for the Transformers movie franchise. If you couldn't tell, the first four films had no over-reaching arc and were written prior to start of production for each. This resulted in a disjointed set of sequels, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen suffered from this approach the most, due to a writer's strike at the time.
This new approach is more akin to what Marvel is doing with its superhero franchises of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers, with plans to add Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Doctor Strange, and more over the next decade. They all exist within the same universe and ultimately tie into one another in some form or fashion.
While the Transformers franchise will not be as expansive as Marvel's, there is the hint that it will involve television, as well. Whether the animated television shows will be tied to the movies is unknown, but Ant-Man script writers Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari are reportedly involved.
This also brings the question of what is going on with Michael Bay. Davis clearly mentions the director in his statement on the 10 year plan. Bay recently declared on Twitter that he's "not committed to any ideas as of yet," per a recent Inquisitr report.
Also unknown is the rest of the cast for Transformers. Age of Extinction brought in a whopping $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, but stars Mark Wahlberg, T.J. Miller, Nicola Peltz, Sophia Myles, and seemingly the entire cast were heftily rewarded with Razzies (via Variety), which are "awarded" to the worst films and actors of the previous year.
Perhaps Hasbro and Paramount are shooting for the money a higher quality Transformers that will generate the same box office returns? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Transformers]