In terms of film adaptations, the history of live-action “Transformers” movies is looking to be similar to a bowl. It had a strong start in the first, iffy reception in the second and third, a noticeable dip in the fourth and fifth, and what appears to be a recovery in quality from the last one in 2018. Said last one (“Bumblebee”) may have been an improvement due to it being ret-conned as a reboot after being originally presented as a prequel to the Michael Bay-directed films. But where does it go from there? Wherever it might be, at least there are scripts now being written.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that there are at least more than one new “Transformers” film productions under development from Paramount Pictures and Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures, if the recent taking on of two screenwriters was any indication from their end. These writers are Joby Harold and James Vanderbilt, both veteran screenwriters with significant movie credits. Harold worked on the second and third “John Wick” films starring Keanu Reeves as well as Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead,” while Vanderbilt was co-writer on Sony’s first “Amazing Spider-Man” starring Andrew Garfield, and “Zodiac” from director David Fincher.
What is interesting about the two “Transformers” film scripts that will be written is that they will also be developed at the same time, though whether that concurrent work will carry on to production has not been specified. Sources from Hasbro and Paramount have spoken on the possibility of creating multiple story arcs in a potential expansion to a cinematic universe for “Transformers.” Online speculation from the fandom of the classic “vehicles transform into robots” toy and media franchise have proposed the idea that one of the films being conceptualized is a live-action take on “Beast Wars,” the popular spinoff sub-franchise where the Transformers changed (initially) into animal disguises instead.
The “Transformers” became a major Hollywood blockbuster franchise back in 2007, with Michael Bay directing an action-oriented cast with Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, as well as Peter Cullen reprising his 1980s voice-work as heroic Autobot leader Optimus Prime. The movies were among the first wave of billion-dollar box-office juggernauts that have defined major franchise films in the 21st Century.
Image courtesy of Variety