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The walking, talking towers of tin that are the Transformers have now wreaked wanton havoc in four films, collectively earning Paramount billions of dollars. While another explosion-addled entry was expected, it seems that the franchise could be taking a different approach for its next go, moving the metal massacres over the Transformers’ home planet of Cybertron. That’s one possibility anyway.
According to a scoop by Deadline, a project titled Transformers One is in the works and it will reportedly be an origin story of the anthropomorphic automatons taking place on Cybertron, much to the relief of our Earthly infrastructure. However, it has yet to be determined if said project will take shape as the next live-action film or, in an equally likely scenario, as an animated feature.
Those who caught last year’s fourth entry, Transformers: Age of Extinction, may recall the cliffhanger ending in which Autobot leader, Optimus Prime leaves Earth, embarking on a quest to find The Creators. Thus, some outer-space action already did seem to be in the cards. However, it could be the case that a follow-up feature taking place on other worlds in which Optimus deals with ancient Autobot issues might need something to supplement its exposition. The idea is that One could be a Cybertron-set animated feature serving as a prequel to the Transformers, filled with germane plot points to an upcoming live-action movie seems to make sense.
So, could the next film take place on Cybertron? While it sounds like an amazing idea, there would be practical constraints. Age of Extinction just brought on board new leading man Mark Wahlberg for the long-term. Are we sending him to Cybertron? And if so, why? The structure of the Transformers movies seems firm in grounding the films on Earth, having the robots interact with human protagonists and a Victoria’s Secret model or two that just stand idly by as devastation occurs. A venture set in Cybertron would require some serious restructuring of the franchise formula, especially as it looks to fulfill its various product placement commitments and placate international investors.
With that said, Paramount certainly has corralled just the team for such an effort. News of the One project comes on the heels of a report hailing the expansion of the Transformers franchise Writer’s Room with two scribes who reportedly worked on the re-writes for Marvel’s Ant-Man, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari. (The latter of which may very well have been hired by Michael Bay, based on his name alone.) The timing could indicate the duo’s direct involvement with the One project, however, no details have been revealed regarding their roles.
As those following the movements of the franchise may know, the Writer’s Room is a cinematic brain trust of talent headed by producer, Akiva Goldsmith, brought together to help Paramount plan the super-lucrative course of the Transformers franchise. They are tasked with having workable scripts ready for Michael Bay, once he finishes passion projects like the Benghazi embassy attack drama, 13 Hours. The group features notables like The Walking Dead visionary Robert Kirkman, The Incredible Hulk writer Zak Penn and Iron Man co-scribes Matt Holloway and Art Marcum.
All of the names in that Writer’s Room are currently listed as writers for the yet-to-be named Transformers 5, however, no real movement has been made. In fact, Michael Bay hasn’t even decided if he will direct the feature. Perhaps the allure of reinventing the series on Cybertron could stop him from walking.