Despite being consistently pummeled by critics, the Transformers movie franchise seems to have been given a license to print money, with the three already released installments raking in a combined $2,669,760,469.  (I like to think of them as the Black Eyed Peas of movies.  Critics may hate them, but audiences never seem to tire of them.)  But with their paper-thin plots and under-developed characterization, there’s really nothing that should confine these films to a “trilogy.”  After all, The Fast and the Furious movies are now up to six movies with more on the way.  And say what you will about the weak scripts, you have to admit the robots/vehicles are pretty amazing to behold on the big screen!

Director Michael Bay has returned to helm the latest installment of these films, based on Hasbro’s beloved and enduring toy line, swapping out wide-eyed Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf, a character inspired by the original cartoon series character “Spike”) for proven action star Mark Wahlberg as Flynn Vincent.  Wahlberg is joined by Nicola Peltz as his daughter Tessa and Jack Reynor as Shane, her race car-driving boyfriend.

The movie is currently filming in Adrian, Michigan and these video clips have surfaced depicting Optimus Prime in action.

The clips also feature this new Freightliner Argosy that was recently revealed:

Some fans are speculating that this is Motormaster, leader of the Stunticons which are Decepticons that combine into a larger robot Menasor.  (That would explain why he would be chasing after and possibly shooting at Optimus.)  Another rumor is that the film will see the debuts of fan-favorites the Dinobots.  (No sign of that yet, though.)

While the Transformers films have received universally mixed reviews at best, many fans agree that the third film, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon was the best of the series.  Will this film, which eschews Sam Witwicky and replaces him with new human allies, prove to be a welcome relaunch for the series?

Which robots/vehicles are you hoping to see introduced on the big screen?  What do you hope for plot-wise?  Do you think Wahlberg will prove a better fit for this franchise than LeBeouf?  Leave a comment below!