If 2018’s Bumblebee felt like a tasty little appetizer that still left Transformers fans longing for a bigger main course, then there’ll be no point in disguising your glee at the news that Paramount and Hasbro reportedly have not one, but two new Transformers movies in the works.
THR reports that a new Transformers movie tandem is already in active development, with script writing for one film coming from Army of the Dead co-writer Joby Harold; and writing for the other coming from James Vanderbilt, who collaborated with director David Fincher on Zodiac.
At this early stage, there’s little information about what kind of stories each movie will pursue, though THR notes that Paramount and Hasbro are looking to “build out” the Transformers universe by serving up “multiple storylines” as part of a multi-movie strategy that keeps the Autobots one step ahead of the Decepticons.
In a separate report, though, Variety cites “sources” suggesting that one film could return to the smaller, more personally-delivered story world of Bumblebee, while the other “would likely revamp the original franchise with a bigger ensemble and larger production feel.” And Deadline, similarly citing unnamed inside sources, adds that the same project is the one that's being written by Vanderbilt, and that it may be based on Beast Wars: Transformers, originally launched in 1996 as an animated spinoff series featuring robots that transform into animals.
Bumblebee’s intimate, 1980s-nostalgic underdog story, which pitted its titular abandoned VW Beetle Autobot against a Decepticon-led ploy to take over the world, pulled in a modestly respectable $468 million at the global box office, but was generally well received by critics.
There’s no word at this stage on who might end up directing or starring in either film. There’s also no news on the potential role of longtime Transformers film director and producer Michael Bay, who stepped away from the director’s chair for Bumblebee (but still took a producer’s credit). Bay isn’t mentioned in early reports on the two newly-announced movies, so we’ll have to wait and see what — if any — involvement he could have.