Over the last eight years, we’ve been delivered four Transformers films by director Michael Bay, and each time a new one is released we get the same chorus of shrugs and derisive snorts from internet cinephiles who declare that Michael Bay should just stop making movies because he’s so terrible. On one hand, I agree that the Transformers franchise is a mindless knot of CGI and incomprehensible plot, but on the other I’m always amused by people clamoring for Bay’s head. If you got paid millions of dollars to do something you love, and some guys on the internet tried to get you to stop, would you really listen to them?
But I digress. The point is the Transformers movies, despite the critical beating they take, are enormously popular among moviegoers who really love watching hunks of metal hit other hunks of metal, and that was proven again last year when the fourth film, Age of Extinction, crossed the $1 billion mark at the international box office. So, you can’t expect Hasbro (who owns the Transformers toys) and Paramount (who produces the films) to stop, can you? Well, it turns out they’re not just continuing the franchise; they’re planning way into the future.
During a Q&A at Mipcom this week, Hasbro chief Steven J. Davis confirmed that a writers room has convened for the future of Transformers, and that they’ve managed to map out the next decade of movies for the franchise.
“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,” Davis said.
“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,” he went on. “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.”
At the moment, Transformers 5 is expected in 2017, and if you project a three-year gap between each film, that means we’ll get new movies until at least 2026, with or without Bay or star Mark Wahlberg (who’s already coming back for the fifth film). Sure, you might just chalk this up to simple Hollywood money-grubbing, and on some level it is, but Paramount is not taking this lightly. The writers room they assembled not only includes Goldsman, but also The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Daredevil and Spartacus showrunner Steven DeKnight, X-Men: The Last Stand writer Zak Penn, and more. Hasbro and Paramount aren’t just perpetuating a franchise for the sake of box office dollars. They’re rebuilding the Transformers engine, and if it works there’s no telling when we’ll see the end of these movies. Even if you hate them, it’s fascinating to watch.