‘Transformers’ continues to defy the laws of movie success. Rarely has there been a series of movies that have been so detested by critics and many viewers (including fans of the original cartoons and toys) and yet makes billions of dollars, hand over fist. The last one, ‘Age of Extinction’ made $210,000,000 and that’s just in the U.S., and was a risky reboot, with a new human cast headed by Mark Wahlberg. So obviously, Paramount Pictures has plans to continue cranking out more sequels as well as spinoffs.
Disney has proven successful with this concept with its acquisition, Marvel Studios, which is dedicated to adapting characters from Marvel Comics to the big screen, all of which are connected. Disney is following the same practice with its other subsidiary Lucasfilm, producing not only a new ‘Star Wars’ trilogy but spinoff “anthology” movies.
If it works for Disney, why not Paramount and its blockbuster ‘Transformers’ franchise? Producers Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura and screenwriter/producer Akiva Goldsman will oversee a team of writers who will brainstorm new ideas for sequels and spinoffs. And get a load of who’s been assembled for this responsibility. The most well-known of the batch is Robert Kirkman, the creator of both ‘The Walking Dead’ comic book and hit TV series. Joining him will be Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (‘Iron Man’, ‘Punisher: War Zone’), Zak Penn (‘X-Men 2’, ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, ‘Elektra’, ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Avengers’) and Jeff Pinker (‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, ‘Fringe’, ‘Lost’, ‘Alias’).
These writers will brainstorm ideas for future ‘Transformers’ movies which will tie together more closely than previous films and then Paramount will divide up the final concepts among the different writers, who will each tackle one script a piece (at least to start with). James Cameron is using a similar approach with his ‘Avatar’ sequels which are being handled by three sets of writers, each working on a different film.
This could result in more ‘Transformers’ movies, possibly more frequently. Hopefully fans won’t become overwhelmed with too many Robots In Disguise.
I’m particularly interested to see what Kirkman comes up with. His biggest strength has been deconstructing established mores– zombies in ‘The Walking Dead’, super heroes in ‘Invincible’. Will Bay and his cohorts allow him to cut loose and reinterpret the ‘Transformers’, possibly making them appeal to those who have turned their noses up at the action-packed-but-lowbrow previous movies?
What do you think? Based on their past works, which writer(s) seems best suited for this line? Are you glad to see more ‘Transformers’ in theaters?