Since 2007, Michael Bay’s name has been synonymous with Transformers, bringing the long running toy line to the big screen with a series of movies more bombastic than the one that preceded it. While they are any but cinematic masterpieces, I personally think there is a lot of fun to be had with them (except for the unbelievably boring Revenge of the Fallen), but I may in the minority with many Transformers fans very vocal in their displeasure with the Master of Bayhem being the guiding force for the big screen exploits of their favourite transforming robots. Now, after a decade, those wanting Bay out are getting their wish, with the director finally making good on what he’s said a few times in the past and putting the Transformer franchise behind him. The bomb was dropped in an open letter to fans, while pimping the fact that this Summer’s fifth installment, The Last Knight, will be setting up a new Transformers universe:
Despite what you feel about the director and his style over substance approach, I think the first movie surprised just about everyone with how entertaining it was, and while there was a definite peaks and valleys situation going on with the franchise going forward, it was always suited to Bay’s explosion heavy, machismo fuelled sensibilities (though I will admit we could have done without the racial stereotypes). But over ten years in, fresh blood is needed, especially if Paramount want to build a viable shared universe. A very talented writers room has been assembled for series going forward, and it will be very interesting to see is brought on for future instalments.
I’ve been living in this franchise for over 10 years now. For Transformers: The Last Knight, we put together a writers’ room designed to greatly expand our mythology, integrating our films in a whole new way. Every movie will interlink.
It was a huge task to expand mythology from the beginning of the world throughout history. We had a great team of writers: Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind); Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man); Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down); Zak Penn (Ready Player One); Lindsey Beer (Barbie); Geneva RobertsonDworet (Tomb Raider); Christina Hodson (Bumblebee); Steven DeKnight (Daredevil, Smallville); Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lost); and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man).
Through the summer of 2015, they worked in a huge space on the Paramount lot, surrounded by over 10,000 concept images from the franchise’s history: the movies, cartoons, and comic books. They had a life-size Bumblebee, a Megatron head, and many other props staring them down. We pulled from everything. It was a fan’s dream room.
We brought in Transformers historians from Hasbro to educate them on where Transformers has been – so that they could figure out where it can go. I can safely say that there’s never been a Transformers film with the huge visual scope and expansive mythology as this movie, The Last Knight.
It’s bittersweet for me. With every Transformers film, I’ve said it would be my last. I see the 120 million fans around the world who see these movies, the huge theme park lines to the ride and the amazing Make- A-Wish kids who visit my sets, and it somehow keeps drawing me back. I love doing these movies. This film was especially fun to shoot. But, this time might really be it. So I’m blowing this one out.
It’s a final chapter and a new beginning. Here’s the writers’ log line:
The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference.
In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.