Longtime Transformers producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, gave several interviews recently and had some interesting things to say. He spoke with Japanese publications, The River and Cinema as well as Collider and made several revelations about the film future of the decades-old franchise, to include Bumblebee 2, a standalone Optimus Prime movie and a sequel to Transformers: The Last Knight.
If seeing Optimus in Bumblebee got your blood pumping for his solo film, which the producer has previously said was in development, I have some unfortunate news for you. When speaking with The River, di Bonaventura let it be known that it was no longer happening.
“…I do not intend to do Optimus’s solo film. In the sequel to Bumblebee, I’m thinking of drawing two people, Optimus and Bumblebee. Then Bumblebee can do something like Optimus.”
di Bonaventura went on to say that the sequel to Bumblebee will be a film in the vein of Lethal Weapon. When asked if this would be the first Autobot buddy film, di Bonaventura gave a preview of his plans for the sequel.
“It would be nice if that would happen! That’s because buddy films don’t even do marvel films [sic]. So I think it would be very interesting. I used to do “Lethal Weapon” as well. So to speak, Danny Glover is Optimus. Bumblebee looks like “Oh, no no no no…”
If you are a fan of Transformers and you’re not yet filled with an overwhelming sense of dread in the pit of your stomach, let’s couple these statements with those he made to Collider while at SXSW.
“I know the next Transformer, our attempt anyway, is to sort of do a fusion of Bumblebee and the Bay movies…a little more Bayhem.” di Bonaventura, supported by anecdotal evidence, is of the belief that those who didn’t like the film felt so because of a lack of action.
While it’s safe to say that the Bumblebee film did not set the box office on fire, it fared far better with critics and audiences than any of the previous films, as it is the only one certified fresh by both critics and audiences (93% and 77% respectively).
Viacom, Paramount’s parent company, recently congratulated the studio as Bumblebee was “solidly profitable.” It made $460 million against a budget of $135 million. Keep in mind that Transformers: The Last Knight, only made $130 million domestically against a budget of $217 million. The majority of the films $600 million haul was from overseas. It was also $500 million less than the previous film, Transformers: Age of Extinction.
In all likelihood, the absence of “Bayhem” in Bumblebee is what helped the film receive such critical praise. These interviews are even more disheartening when you consider that at the most recent New York Toy Fair, Bumblebee was supposedly confirmed to be a reboot, specifically, “a new storytelling universe.” Everything di Bonaventura said feels like a giant step backwards.
Oh, and Transformers: The Last Knight? When speaking with another Japanese outlet, Cinema, di Bonaventura said they’re making a sequel to that monstrosity as well.
“We are already working on two projects and are in the process of writing a script. One is the latest in the main family series following Transformers: The Last Knight and the other is a sequel to this Bumblebee
At this point, my last hope is for some bad translation with these articles.