The Transformers team may not love the word "reboot," but it does sound like a transformation is definitely happening after the success of Bumblebee.
Hasbro just had a product presentation during New York Toy Fair 2019, and it was attended by Transformers fan site TFW2005. During the panel, the Bumblebee movie was officially declared as "a new storytelling universe" for the Transformers franchise.
That's what was expected. In December, when Bumblebee came out, Transformers producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura said they would do another big Transformers movie and it would be "different than the ones that we've done before," but he didn't want to use the word "reboot."
In January, after Bumblebee started picking up more money overseas, word came out that a Bumblebee sequel was in development. Deadline also said there was an animated movie in the works and plans for future movies in the Transformers series that may introduce new characters and bring others back.
Bumblebee has made $458,221,178 worldwide, about $126 million from the domestic (U.S./Canada) box office, and $332 million from foreign markets. That's off a reported production budget of $135 million, per Box Office Mojo.
At last year's Toy Fair, there was a rumor that Paramount was bringing in a new team to reset the Transformers franchise after Bumblebee. That later seemed to be shot down by the Hasbro Brand Manager, leading fans to think maybe the franchise wouldn't get a reboot. This year's conversation sounds similar, except if Hasbro just officially addressed Bumblebee as "a new storytelling universe" at the 2019 panel, that suggests they really are resetting/rebooting/whatever.
That makes sense after fans and critics gave a big thumbs up to Bumblebee, with many calling it the best Transformers movie to date.
If Bumblebee hadn't done well ... well, they'd be back to square one.
Michael Bay directed the first five films in the recent live-action franchise -- Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). Bay only produced Bumblebee, which was directed by Travis Knight.
The Last Knight made $605 million worldwide, but it was off a reported $215 million budget, and it was trashed by both critics and moviegoers. So it's no shock The Powers That Be thought it might be time for something new.
Transformers 6 was originally meant to come out in 2019, but Paramount removed it from its release schedule, leading to all sorts of speculation. Now it sounds like we could get a new version of Transformers 6 that's part of this new universe launched by the spinoff movie Bumblebee.
Travis Knight and Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena have all said they'd love to come back for a sequel. If that movie is now seen as the start of a new storytelling universe for the Transformers franchise, we should expect to hear more about future films from Paramount. Those future films may take a while to develop, though; in the meantime, keep our 2019 movie schedule handy for updates on all of the movies coming to the big screen this year.