Franchises really are the name of the game these days and it's easy to see why: the studios essentially have a captive audience of dedicated fans, and there's also the chance to bring in new viewers. It's a bankable method of making movies, and that's why any remotely successful movie will get several sequels, no matter the critical reception. Paramount are definitely taking advantage of this trend with the Transformers Franchise, and Hasbro recently revealed that there will be multiple sequels, spinoffs, and TV shows after Transformers 5, whether we like it or not.
A Brain Trust Of Writers
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a writers' room is typically the creative space for TV shows, where staff writers and showrunners bounce ideas around for scripts and story arcs. It's specifically designed for long term storytelling, so it's no surprise that the biggest studios in the franchise game have started employing multiple writers for their sequels' plots.
A few months ago, Paramount made the surprising announcement that they have joined the likes of Disney and Universal in this new Hollywood trend, employing almost a dozen writers lead by Academy Award winning Akiva Goldsman. Michael Bay has also apparently been called in to consult, despite the fact that he's mostly moved on to other projects.
This is an ambitious move for Paramount, as they are assuming the franchise has the longevity to last over 10 more years. But considering the financial success of the movies so far, along with the marketing opportunities, Paramount are probably making a good move in banking so much on Transformers' future success. The president of Paramount, Marc Evans, expressed his faith in the project...
"In the Transformers room, the writers are just at a stage now to present their ideas. Sometime in the next couple of days, somebody is going to hand me a beautiful Transformers story bible, and it’ll be great weekend reading."
So this is the future of Transformers: an expanded universe that will feature a huge mythology and a very long term storyline, giving Paramount plot fodder for years to come.
But there are big changes coming to the Transformers universe too...
Standalones & Prequels
Instead of the continuous storyline that we've followed through the Transformers films so far, subsequent installments in the franchise will be far more episodic. The new movies' plots will be more self contained, so they can act as standalones while contributing to an over-arching plot, according to Goldsman.
"Our hope is that they are all interconnected and of course standalone, right? I think architecturally, the best -- I think I believe this -- the best serialized storytelling has integrity from start to finish of the episode, whether it be TV or a movie or comic book or novel series or short story series. You want to be able to satisfy both appetites -- which I think is very different from procedural or episodic. You want to feed the instinct for the short-term gratification and the longterm gratification. So we're trying to do both."
This poses plenty of questions. If the new films are seen as more self contained, will we get different protagonists for each movie? There's also the new TV shows to consider, which are said to tie into the films in a similar way to how the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows work.
Whether these will be animated or live action remains to be seen, but we're definitely getting an important animated film sometime soon... and it'll finally show what happened on Cybertron before the first Transformers movie!! IGN had the scoop...
IGN: "We've heard about that animated movie being an origin movie with just Transformers in it, right?"
Goldsman: "Yeah, the prequel. It takes place before Optimus and Megatron ever come to Earth."
So there you have it folks: the future of Transformers is bright, beautiful, and filled with every plot possibility you could possibly hope for! What would you like to see the franchise do next? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!