Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment of Michael Bay’s lucrative giant robot franchise, doesn’t even open until the end of June, but that doesn’t mean that Paramount and Hasbro aren’t going to go ahead and pencil-in another one. That makes sense, the previous three movies have netted the studio and toy manufacturer multiple billions of dollars, and we all know Age of Extinction will earn a pretty penny, too. Whatever the fifth chapter winds up being called, it is tentatively slated to open in 2017. When you’re basically printing your own money, you can plan this far in advance.
Nothing is official, but according to a leaked promotional schedule, it certainly looks like there are plans for Transformers 5 to drop in the second quarter three years from now. Everything else on this picture appears pretty accurate—the first trailer for Age of Extinction hit in the first quarter, the movie will actually open in quarter three, and the Blu-ray and DVD will most likely be on the shelves just in time for the holiday season at the end of the year.
It’s been three years since the last chapter, Dark of the Moon, which earned a billion dollars, despite the fact that it received a critical drubbing. Age of Extinction takes place years after the events of the last film, and revolves around Mark Wahlberg finding a lost Transformer, as well as the government manufacturing their own in the wake of the battle in Chicago. We’ve heard that this film is the beginning of a new trilogy, with a new arc and a new cast—this is the first film without Shia LaBeouf, now that he’s an artist and all—so getting another one ready to go makes sense after a longer than usual layoff. We also know that Hasbro wanted more movies with more new Transformers so they can sell more toys, which always bodes well for the quality of a movie.
This timeline certainly would fit with the production schedule of a movie like this. There’s ample time to come up with a story, write a script, hire a cast and director—if, for some reason, Bay decides he’s tired of playing with real life giant toys—and get all of their ducks in a row.
As of yet, I haven’t been a fan of any of the Transformers movies, but I still harbor hope, for some reason. Maybe it’s because the robots in disguise were an integral part of my childhood and I want to see a good adaptation before I die. Or maybe it’s just because there are lots of giant robots. Even if I think a movie is going to be terrible, it’s impossible not to feel at least a spark of anticipation at the very idea of massive automatons trading body blows on a movie screen.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens everywhere on June 27.