Transformers picks up Robert Kirkman and more for franchise writers room

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May 21, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT

Transformers is already one of the biggest movie franchises in the world, but Paramount wants to make it even bigger. A couple of months ago, they drafted Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful MindI Am Legend) to drum up new ideas for sequels and spinoff films with the hope of creating a shared universe, and it was reported at the time that Goldsman's hiring would be followed by the assembly of a writers' room. Much as Lucasfilm's done with Star Wars and Universal's done with its upcoming monster movies, Paramount wants a team of writers to "incubate ideas" and grow this franchise into something even more massive. Now it seems they've got their team.

Deadline reports that Paramount has hired writers Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2), Art Marcum (Iron Man), Matt Holloway (Iron Man) and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) to work on the franchise. It's not clear yet who'll be working on what, but this is definitely a group of major players who've got lots of blockbuster experience. And then there's Kirkman, who's made a name for himself with his comics and paved the way for what looks to be his feature screenwriting debut.

Obviously, we expected the Transformers franchise to continue after the success of Age of Extinction last year, but at the time we couldn't have expected it to continue like this. Paramount is pouring lots of resources into developing not just a fifth film, but potentially several followups to Age of ExtinctionTransformers is a franchise that's never done all that well critically, but the four films released so far have grossed nearly $4 billion worldwide, and with the massive plans Disney has for both Marvel Studios and Star Wars, Paramount wants to keep that hit streak going.

(Via Deadline)