As much as I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe and after ‘Wonder Woman’, which has given hope for DC’s equivalent, it seems like every studio has been trying to launch their own series of interconnected movies. The most recent entry, Universal’s ‘The Mummy‘ tanked, casting doubt on the future of their hopes for a series of monster movies.
In 2015, Paramount assembled a “writers room” to develop a shared universe for their ‘Transformers’ brand. Despite the fact that these films are critically blasted, they rake in money hand over fist. Well, they did.
Prolific writer Akiva Goldsman was placed in charge of this writers room but when recently asked if he was still affiliated with ‘Transformers’ going forward, he replied:
‘Transformers’ producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura attempted to explain:
The writers room, which was set up by all of us, was set up to explore the mythology more. It was set up for a few different reasons but the biggest thing that happened in it was they expanded the mythology of Transformers in a way that allowed us to go to King Arthur. There’s different areas, like we’ve examined World War II, etc.
This contradicts earlier reports that this writers room was assembled to each writer or writing team to develop their own films set within the ‘Transformers’ universe– like the upcoming ‘Bumblebee’. In fact, at one point it was believed that Paramount was planning up to 12 films in this shared universe, but after ‘The Last Knight”s poor performance in the US, there’s uh…not that much to share.
One member of the writers room, Christina Hodson contributed to the script for ‘Bumblebee’, which looks to be the only shared universe film to materialize.
Other screenwriters included Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’), Lindsey Beer (‘Godzilla Vs. King Kong’), Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (‘Iron Man’), Ken Nolan (‘Black Hawk Down’), Zak Penn (‘The Avengers’), Jeff Pinker (‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (‘Tomb Raider’) and most surprisingly, Robert Kirkman, the creator of both ‘The Walking Dead’ comic book and TV series.
Beer and Robertson-Dworet are attached to other Hasbro projects ‘ROM’, ‘M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand’ and ‘Dungeons & Dragons’. Beer is also working on a reboot of 80s comedy ‘Short Circuit’ and a ‘Barbie’ movie. In addition to the new ‘Tomb Raider’, Robertson-Dworet is contributing to ‘Gotham City Sirens’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes 3’.
Robert Kirkman will, presumably use his free time to continue swimming in his Scrooge McDuck money vault.
Could this mean ‘Bumblebee’ will be the last we’ll see of the Robots In Disguise on the big screen? Absolutely not. With the billions of dollars these films have generated worldwide, at worst, Paramount will give the franchise a few years to rest before going back to that well. But there’s no doubt they will simply abandon the brand altogether.
What do you think Paramount should do with this sinking franchise?