The Transformers franchise has pretty much become synonymous with Michael Bay after four installments, soon to be five with #TheLastKnight.
Well, get ready for this. With the release of a new Super Bowl trailer and synopsis for the fifth installment in the franchise, Bay took the opportunity to announce that he's moving on from the franchise... for real this time. On his official website, the director posted a letter to fans titled: "Only One Word Will Survive: Theirs, or Ours," and in it, he stated he would not be directing #Transformers6. He started the message with:
"I’ve been living in this franchise for over 10 years now."
"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 certainly a surprise to see him go after the time he invested in this universe, but we have to consider that...
This Is A Good Move For The Transformers Universe
The #Transformers franchise is incredibly successful financially - having earned more than $4 billion - but it hasn't exactly been a critical since the first movie was released in 2009. Here are each movie's Rotten Tomatoes scores:
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: 19% approval rating.
- Transformers: Dark Of The Moon: 35% approval rating.
- Transformers: Age of Extinction: 18% approval rating.
Some of the major complaints the films receive are the missed opportunities regarding their scope. If we look at the mythology, it's an incredibly expansive world with characters and themes that have barely, if at all, been explored in the movies we have so far. So Bay's departure gives Paramount the chance to bring in fresh minds who are willing to take the next step for the franchise, necessary to keep it striving in today's competitive #scifi movie environment. Fortunately, it seems he left the studio with a nice jumping-off point for that with The Last Knight, as he stated in his letter:
"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 [...] 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 [...]
And it looks like #Paramount is very serious about the future franchise, going by his description of the planning behind the future of the space robots:
"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 a final chapter and a new beginning."
Overall, this sounds like a promising future for the Transformers. Like I said, a new set of eyes could be what the franchise needs to embrace its full potential regarding scope, storytelling and characters; let's just hope they're a smart and savvy set of eyes.
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And on another positive note, Michael Bay is a very talented director who's given us great films in the past, so stepping down from the franchise probably means we'll be seeing other great, smaller-scale stories from him in the near future.
Do you think Michael Bay stepping down as director is a good move for Transformers moving forward?