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Four films in seven years is an incredible accomplishment when we're talking massively expensive big budget blockbusters. Sure, Transformers might not exactly be "the most iconic franchise in film history" as Mark Wahlberg claims, but you've got to admire the mercenary fortitude Paramount, Hasbro and Michael Bay have shown in marching forward with the continuation of this robot saga. In fact, this summer's Transformers: Age Of Extinction could very well be a pitstop into turning Transformers into a pentalogy.
Vilsco Textiles is an Australian licensing company who shared some Transformers marketing information on their website, via SlashFilm recently. The brand has materials slated for television, merchandising, and especially the release, and DVD campaign, for the fourth Transformers, represented by the logo of Optimus Prime's face superimposed onto a '4' (who are the ad wizards who came up with that one?). But there's also a logo superimposing Optimus Prime's visage onto a '5,' Well, probably a fifth movie, right? Either that or a crossover with Short Circuit robot Johnny Five.
But don't roll out just yet, Autobots. Vilsco Textiles might know more than us, or they might just be hypothesizing. It would be nice for a company to tell their stockholders that in 2017 they'll have the rights to all sorts of new toys, particularly Transformers. But there's been no news yet about a fifth film, so this seems premature, especially considering that the three-year break is a bit longer than the standard biennial release pattern for most big standalone franchises.
It's obvious that Paramount would be planning a follow-up to Age Of Extinction, however. Each of the films in this series made more than $300 million domestically, and each one increased in global gross up until the billion dollars brought in by Dark Of The Moon. And, all due respect to Shia LaBeouf, but the new film has an A-List star in Mark Wahlberg. Also Dinobots. They don't go this hard on a part four without a plan to go HAM on a part five. It's basically Star Wars, right?
But where do they go without Michael Bay? Surely he couldn't be coming back for a fifth film, right? The guy makes, literally, hundreds of millions on these films by shooting them in his signature kinetic style, securing licensing and merchandising funding, and getting these pictures wrapped under-budget and ahead of schedule. Steven Spielberg produced the first one, but Bay has clearly taken over the series and remade these characters in his own image. He took a brief sojourn from the 'bots to make the low(er) budgeted Pain And Gain, but he can write his own check in Hollywood. Wouldn't it be great to see Bay return to his roots and just do a silly, strictly-for-adults action film like The Rock or Bad Boys 2? Or better yet, maybe Bay can tackle some sort of awards-bait movie. Wouldn't you pay to see Michael Bay's The Reader, Michael Bay's Angela's Ashes or Michael Bay's Philomena?