Love it or hate it, director Michael Bay has helped to make the Transformers what it is today: a successful, multi-billion dollar franchise. Sure, the films may not be known for their amazing quality, but regardless of what film geeks like us think, thereâ€™s no denying that mainstream moviegoers head out to the theaters in droves. Paramount knows this, and thatâ€™s why theyâ€™re always all too eager to accept Michael Bay back when he so feels the itch.
But these films are quite an investment of time and effort, and itâ€™s no wonder that after each film, no one is ever sure if Michael Bay will be returning for the next. Such was the case after the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth film in the franchise. In fact, if we had bet on whether or not he would have returned, we likely would have lost. But, as he did three previous times, Michael Bay came back. The big question regarding Transformers: The Last Knight is why? Why did Michael Bay return for a fifth outing?
Speaking with Screen Rant, Bay himself mentioned that it was the Writers Room that had attracted him. For those unfamiliar, following the release of Age of Extinction, Paramount set up a Writers Room (led by Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman) to outline several Transformers projects. This way, they could potentially ensure that each successive film would actually be great films. In the age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, garbage blockbuster films are slowly becoming a thing of the past, so Transformers was facing pressure to keep up.
Hereâ€™s what Bay had to say:
â€œThe writers room was big. It was an inspiration. I think I was ready to go shoot or something in about 13 hours and I had to sit for 6 to 7 hours, I had 12 writers pitch me their 45 minute stories, and Iâ€™m sitting there and Iâ€™m concentrating, not that Iâ€™m getting bored, but my mind is also going a million miles per hour, Iâ€™m completely spacing out cause Iâ€™m trying to think â€œWhereâ€™s the movie? Whatâ€™s the movie?â€ and they went from the beginning of time to whatever. Some really smart people came up with great ideas. Spielberg and I latched on to a couple ideas that are great for spinoffs, thereâ€™s a great historical thing. As I told Paramount, we were doing one movie, then the next movie, then the next movie, and itâ€™s hard. We need a Bible where we can start really taking what weâ€™ve done. Now, they write down all that weâ€™ve done and try to meld it. How do you cement into something new, so that youâ€™ve got all this?â€
Bay also took this time to talk up how different Transformers: The Last Knight would be from any other entry, and how it challenged him in all new ways:
â€œThe palette on this one is the most different Iâ€™ve ever done. It will be the most different. The third act is spectacular looking. Itâ€™s stuff that Iâ€™ve never done that excites me. Itâ€™s stuff thatâ€™s really complicated. I say: â€˜I have no f***ing idea how weâ€™re going to shoot this.â€™ Itâ€™s fun. Thatâ€™s the fun of it. How do you keep it human? Weâ€™ve really grounded it with Anthony Hopkinsâ€™s character. Iâ€™ve always wanted to work with that guy.â€
And as to whether or not heâ€™d be back for Transformers 6:
â€œNever ask someone that when theyâ€™re dog tired. Iâ€™ve lost 8 pounds running around. I like doing a small one and then a big one. Itâ€™s fun doing a big one but I like small ones too. I liked 13 Hours and Pain & Gain as well. Theyâ€™re fun.â€
Fair enough. But letâ€™s take a step back and talk about that illustrious and inspirational Writers Room. Weâ€™ve heard a lot of news coming out of the room itself, but at the end of the day, we still donâ€™t know for sure how far along the writers planned? How many movies does Paramount plan to keep moving forward with these? The obvious answer is â€œuntil they stop making money,â€ but what do they have planned? How many movies do they have outlined?
Also speaking with Screen Rant, The Last Knight producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who stated that while they havenâ€™t started writing those scripts just yetâ€¦but they do have outlines through Transformers 7.
Hereâ€™s what di Bonaventura had to say in regards to their actual progress in writing the screenplays for the sequels.
â€œWe havenâ€™t even started. Actually, we have outlines, and I think one of the things was we did not want to rush to start those scripts, because we felt likeâ€“and it turns out we were rightâ€“that this was going to evolve. So we would have had a script that wouldnâ€™t have related to where weâ€™ve evolved to.
â€œSo I think thatâ€™s probably the next conversation thatâ€™s going to come up, is OK, now that we really know where weâ€™re headed and how weâ€™re headed, what is itâ€“what does the tone of it feel like? You discover things along the way. Ideas you hadâ€“I find whatâ€™s so much fun about making any film is ideas you had that you thought were great donâ€™tturn out so great, and ideas you were like â€˜Eh, itâ€™s pretty good,â€™ turn out really great. Youâ€™re like, â€˜How did that happen?â€™â€
Well, despite the quality of the last few Transformers films, I am very interested to see what kind of impact this Writers Room has on the finished product. My gut told me that as soon as Bay signed on, heâ€™d throw a lot of their work out the window, but from the sound of it, itâ€™s very much shaped his excitement going forward, so I could be wrong.
What do you think of all this? Let us know your thoughts down below!