In the wake of the solid success of 2018’s Bumblebee, Paramount Pictures is moving forward with not one but three new Transformers movies. These next Transformers movies won’t be a continuation of the universe created by Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, but more of a revamp according to Variety.
The four movies being worked on include live-action movies in Bumblebee 2 and Transformers: Beast Wars, as well as one animated movie which will be a prequel.
Paramount has announced they intend to have at least one of the two live-action next Transformers movies in theaters on June 24, 2022. Unfortunately we don’t know which one of them they’re targeting to release. It’s safe to assume not both of them at the same time, but they’ve given no indication on which movie it’ll be.
For that matter, it’s possible that both movies may not even reach the final development stage. Though Paramount officially announced intentions to make them both and though they’re having scripts written for both of them, with the Coronavirus tightening Hollywood belts it’s possible they may be forced to choose between one or the other, before it’s all over. That seems particularly likely since they’ve only announced one release date and not two.
Meanwhile here’s what we know so far about the two projects being worked on to be the next Transformers movie.
The Transformers Reboot
Among the many Transformers projects underway at Paramount is a total reboot of the Michael Bay movies from the franchise. That film would replace those movies and carry on with the Transformers in the modern world.
As part of signalling to audiences that the Michael Bay movies are gone, the main character would be Spike Witwicky. In the Michael Bay movies Shia LaBeouf played Sam Witwicky. Spike Witwicky is actually the name of the human character at the center of many of the animated Transformers stories, so going back to that makes sense.
To play Spike Witwicky word is that Paramount is looking at actor Lucas Hedges. 23-year-old Hedges was nominated for an Academy Award in 2016 for his performance in Manchester by the Sea.
Bumblebee 2 As The Next Transformers Movie
Bumblebee was the first Transformers movie to try something different, telling a stripped-down, lower budget, coming of age story. That approach connected well with audiences and critics. Because of that, one of the next Transformers movies will be a continuation of the Bumblebee story. That film is being written by Joby Harold who worked on John Wick 3.
Harold is talented and has a good resume. And Bumblebee star John Cena has talked in the past about wanting to return to the franchise, so it seems likely they can get him back. A sequel to Bumblebee would seem to be a slam dunk as the next Transformers movie, though it was one of the poorest performing Transformers movies at the international box office.
Transformers: Beast Wars As The Next Transformers Movie
The other candidate to the next Transformers movie will, according to Deadline, be an adaptation of the Transformers: Beast Wars cartoon series. That series was a prequel of sorts, set on prehistoric Earth, and it told the story of an earlier group of Autobots and Decepticons battling each other. Their story happened before humans existed to make cars for them to copy and disguise themselves as, so the robot aliens take the form of various animals.
Transformers: Beast Wars ran on television from 1996 to 1999 and featured such transformers as Optimus Primal. Rhinox, and Cheetor. In it Autobots are called Maximals and Decepticons are called Predacons. It was generally well received by fans and it spawned an equally popular sequel series called Beast Machines, which could also prove useful fodder for Paramount’s adaption.
The Transformers: Beast Wars movie is being written by James Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt recently worked on on the Netflix series Altered Carbon. Less encouraging is the fact that he also wrote the script for Independence Day: Insurgence… one of the worst movies of all time.
Animated Transformers: The Movie Prequel
For anyone who grew up in the 80s, the 1987 animated Transformers movie was one of the watershed moments of their youth. And now, decades later, they’re finally making another one.
The trades say Paramount and Hasbro have hired Toy Story 4’s Josh Cooley to write and direct an animated Transformers prequel, which will tell the origin story of Optimus Prime and Megatron. Unlike the live-action movies, this story will take place on Cybertron in the early days before the Autobots and Decepticons landed on Earth.
It’ll also exist totally separate from the live action universe, the way the original 1987 Transformers: The Movie already does. In a sense it sounds like it might even be a reboot of the 1987 animated movie, especially given that we’re hearing rumors that the movie will begin with them killing off Optimus Prime.
Apparently the plan is for it to play out much like it did in the 1987 version with Optimus Prime and Megatron battling to the death. Prime will lose his life and be replaced as the leader of the Autobots by Hot Rod while Megatron will be reborn as Galvatron.