The Transformers franchise has fallen on hard times these last few years, with the last proper group movie — 2017’s little-liked The Last Knight, aka the one that begins in medieval times — dramatically underperforming, especially compared to its monster hit predecessors. The next year’s solo outing Bumblebee did okay, not great, business, but the series’ parents at Paramount aren’t unswayed. If anything they’re doubling down. According to a scoop by Deadline, they’re hard at work on not one but two Transformers movies. And neither involves Michael Bay.
Of the two alleged Transformers pictures, one is being helmed by James Vanderbilt, of The Amazing Spider-Man diptych, White House Down, Murder Mystery, and also David Fincher’s Zodiac, the serial killer saga proclaimed by many to be one of the finest pictures of the aughts. His film will reportedly focus on the Transformers spinoff Beast Wars, in which our resident space robots turn not into moving vehicles but animals, such as cheetahs, gorillas, even rhinoceros.
The other is being shepherded by Joby Harold, co-writer of Zack Snyder’s forthcoming Army of the Dead, as well as Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. It sounds like it may be set in the Bumblebee wing of the franchise, but it’s still to early to tell, and ditto on who would direct it.
Put together, all Transformers movies have grossed over $4 billion worldwide. The first four were some of the biggest hits of their respective years, and they made a pretty penny for their director, Michael Bay. Since The Last Knight, Bay has gone to work for Netflix, who gave him $150 million to make the non-franchise action extravaganza 6 Underground.