The Transformers franchise isn’t on quite as solid ground as it was over a decade ago. While the 2018 spinoff Bumblebeee was unquestionably the most critically acclaimed entry in the film series, it also didn’t make the biggest splash at the box office, and for the last year, it was unclear what the next step forward would be for the robots in disguise on the big screen.
Well, it looks like Paramount Pictures finally has a plan on how to proceed next. It’s been revealed that the studio is developing two “simultaneous scripts,” one of which is being written by The Amazing Spider-Man’s James Vanderbilt and the other by Army of the Dead’s Joby Harold.
While details about both of these scripts are being kept under wraps, Variety’s sources say that one of them could be set in the Bumblebeee universe, while the other would “revamp” the Transformers film series “with a bigger ensemble and larger production feel.” Deadline also reports that the story James Vanderbilt is tackling would be based off the spinoff Beast Wars. Neither project has a director attached yet, and they would both most likely feature brand-new casts.
Variety’s report also mentions how these scripts present an opportunity to “build out multiple storylines within the franchise,” so it’s entirely possible that they could both see the light of day. However, since both these Transformers projects sound like they’re set in separate continuities, I also wouldn’t be surprised if only one of them will ultimately end up moving forward. Should that be the case, it’ll be interesting to see which creative path Paramount decides to venture down.
On the one hand, since Bumblebeee was so well received, you can be sure there will be a lot of folks who’ll be interested to see what happens next to this incarnation of the eponymous character. Plus, that also allows for Hailee Steinfeld to potentially reprise her role of Charlie Watson, who befriended Bumblebee when he landed on Earth in 1987.
On the other hand, going the revamp route with Transformers provides the opportunity for a completely fresh start. It had previously been rumored that Paramount was interested in rebooting Transformers, and while that was debunked just days later, resetting continuity and delivering new versions of the Autobots, Decepticons and everyone else in their sphere would provide distance from the previous movies. Or, if the Beast Wars mythos is indeed being explored, we can simply follow along with robots who transform into animals instead of vehicles instead.
Regardless, it’s clear that Paramount is keen on keeping the Transformers around, which make sense. Although the studio has plenty of other properties at its disposal that have franchise potential, like G.I. Joe, Power Rangers and various Valiant characters, Transformers are still arguably the most popular of the bunch, so it’s just a matter of finding the right creative talent to ensure that the franchise can get back on track.
We here at CinemaBlend will be sure to provide you any significant updates about what’s next for the Transformers film series. In the meantime, scan through our 2020 release schedule to learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.