As Bumblebee rumbles to audience goodwill and critical accolades (the latter perhaps being a shock to Transformers franchise fans), its box office returns will likely determine the future of the films — but either way, those at the top are already thinking through the possibilities. One of these is a potential solo film for Optimus Prime that would mimic Bumblebee’s structure and give voice actor Peter Cullen the spotlight he’s been recently stumping for.
Speaking to SYFY WIRE at the film’s premiere, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura commented that the project was something he was aware of, though he explained more of his thoughts regarding the project with Metro. While they’re “trying to figure out an [Optimus Prime solo movie],” those involved with the project are bumping into a problem that fans of another interplanetary sci-fi franchise may find familiar.
“It will be hard with Optimus,” di Bonaventura said because, “he is always right, very stoic and is a man of few words … It is kind of like saying, ‘Let’s do a movie about Obi-Wan Kenobi?’ But how much is there to say about Obi-Wan? It is not so easy." With the disappointing returns for Solo causing the Star Wars side projects to undergo some readjustment, the highly-anticipated Obi-Wan solo film (potentially starring fan favorite Ewan McGregor) is on the furthest back of backburners — something di Bonaventura is potentially referring to when mentioning the Jedi.
However, finding personality where there seemingly was none is a founding principle of the Transformers movies. Nobody thought these big gimmicky robots could maintain their emotional grounding throughout so many modern films. And yet one upcoming film aims to introduce a new generation to the transforming robots’ backstory.
“We actually have an animated movie in the works that will tell the whole Cybertron mythology,” di Bonaventura said. Will the animated movie fall in line with the old-school Transformers series? Or be more like Netflix’s Voltron cartoon? It remains to be seen, though success in one area of the franchise will necessarily affect the approach in others — so keep an eye on Bumblebee’s ticket sales.
Bumblebee is in theaters now.