There's no question that after five films, Michael Bay's Transformers movies had begun to run out of gas. But while plans for Transformers 7 were officially killed off last month, the series' first spinoff Bumblebee (basically the sixth move in the franchise) is hoping to give fans a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has spoken to Entertainment Weekly about how the '80s-set film could regenerate the franchise and even make way for an Optimus Prime movie – which is said to be a top priority in the writers' room, as well as a sequel to Bumblebee, if it becomes a success. "I'd certainly like to do that," di Bonaventura tells EW about an Optimus Prime standalone. "It would be a very different kind of movie than a Bumblebee movie, but equally interesting and different.”
We're all definitely expecting a change in tone moving forward, and that comes with the departure of action supremo Bay and the arrival of new directing recruit Travis Knight. Previously the lead animator and president/CEO of Laika Studios (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings), it sounds as though Knight is going to dial things back a bit from the bombastic action sequences that fans had got fatigued with.
Talking about changing Bay's model of brash battles between Autobots and Decepticons, di Bonaventura admits they'll be taking a risk with Bumblebee and the overall new direction of the films. He explains: "It’s one of those things where there is no simple answer. You’re taking a risk no matter what you do when you make a big expensive movie, so why not change the formula completely and really hang in there?"
Bumblebee takes place 20 years before Bay's first Transformers film, in 1987, and finds the practically mute yellow Autobot hiding in a small California beach town, where he is befriended by a teenage girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld). If it proves to be a success, and let’s face it, most things set in the ‘80s right now are, then we can't see why Paramount Pictures wouldn't want to keep things going with another movie.
Transformers 7 was originally set for release on June 28, 2019, and while we're glad that chapter of the franchise has come to a close, we’re also excited to see if director Knight can save the Transformers cinematic franchise from extinction.
Would you like to see an Optimus Prime spinoff movie? Tell us in the comments below.