With Michael Bay no longer directing the Transformers franchise, it looks as though the studio is attempting to make some changes. Paramount recently hired Creed director Steven Caple Jr. to direct the next installment and now the word is coming from insider Daniel Richtman that the movie studio is looking to lean more on the Autobots and Decepticons than what Bay had done in his five films. According to Richtman, “Paramount wants next Transformers movies to focus more on the robots than human characters and actually give them development unlike the Bay films.”
While Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise earned nearly $5 billion at the box office, the further the series went, the reviews and box office returns became progressively worse. The Transformers franchise became less coherent with each entry, with Bay piling on the mythology to a point where confusion reigned and battle sequences that were so big that many times it was hard to decipher who was who. The only thing fans knew to cheer for was the departure of Bay.
After Michael Bay bid adieu to the franchise following the mind-numbing Transformers: The Last Knight, Paramount decided that a full reboot was necessary, starting small with the popular Travis Knight film Bumblebee. Hailee Steinfeld starred along with John Cena and while there was some great action, it wasn’t a confusing mess like Bay’s films.
Confusing action sequences aside, the one thing Travis Knight’s Bumblebee brought to the franchise that Michael Bay’s films didn’t was a stronger story and character development. Paramount apparently wants to evolve the Transformers series into a much stronger narrative experience than it has been in the past.
With Steven Caple Jr. set to direct the next Transformers installment, Paramount has also hired Joby Harold as screenwriter. Harold has previously written such projects as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the upcoming Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. By delving more into the Autobots and Decepticons, this could allow for more fleshed-out personalities with the Transformers, something fans have been longing for.
Giving audiences a firm grasp on who and what the Autobots and Decepticons are, and allowing for audiences to become more emotionally invested in a Transformers story will go a long way in telling audiences that this is a new direction for the franchise. This is something that the animated series has done well over the years, and something that Paramount will hopefully tap into.
Steven Caple Jr.’s new Transformers movie isn’t the only project on the horizon for the Transformers franchise. Zodiac and Murder Mystery writer James Vanderbilt is scripting another Transformers movie, which is said to take on the Beast Wars mythos. Of course, there is always the follow-up to the popular Bumblebee that is in development. It’s unclear if Travis Knight will return as director, or if its star Hailee Steinfeld also has her hands full as Kate Bishop in Marvel’s Hawkeye set to premiere on Disney+.
As of now, the new Steven Caple Jr’s Transformers movie is set to hit the big screen in June 2022, where we will hopefully see Transformers becoming more narrative and character-driven than what we’ve seen in the past with this franchise.