Transformers Optimus Prime

Marvel is doing it, DC is doing it, Lucasfilm is doing it, the Ghostbusters are doing it and now it looks like Transformers will be doing it too.

Deadline reports that Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning writer of a A Beautiful Mind (and the writer of Batman and Robin, among other films) is in negotiations with Paramount to lead a brain trust of writers with the aim of upping the output of Transformers movies for the studio. Goldsman will join executive producers Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura in the hiring of a collection of writers to create “a potential multi-part Transformers sequel, and come up with potential spinoff films.” Read more about this potential Transformers Cinematic Universe below.

Deadline broke this news and say things are expected to come together quickly. Bay, who has directed the last four uber-successful Transformers films, is currently expected to come back for Transformers 5. (Which is tentatively set to come out in 2016, but 2017 seems more likely.) He’s about to start production on 13 Hours and the hope is, once he’s done with that, a plan and script will be in place for him to work on.

They also report that while Goldsman might be the leader of this group, he isn’t likely to write the movies himself.

With Transformers being such a monster hit for Paramount, this really isn’t a big surprise. It’s how Hollywood is going. Plus, the last few movies have had a very cut and paste feel about them with very little cohesion or logic. If a group of people get hired to keep everything straight, that’s a good sign. In addition, the last film definitely left the franchise in a place where there was a pretty blank slate. All we do know is Mark Wahlberg will likely be back.

So let’s talk spinoffs and crossovers. This could, potentially, leave the door open for the mega G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover fans have drooled over for years. G.I. Joe is not mentioned anywhere in the Deadline article but Paramount and di Bonaventura control it. You have to assume it’s on the table.

The franchise has also been very careful to to only add a few new Transformers into each film besides the essential characters: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, etc. There are dozens of second level characters just begging to be brought into this universe and maybe even get a spinoff. The Dinobots, a series of characters recently introduced, are one. Ultra Magnus, Soundwave, Hot Rod, Unicron and so many others are great too. In fact, last summer I asked di Bonaventura about Hot Rod (a personal favorite of mine) and he said this:

As you know, we always introduce new characters.  The tricky part is if you introduce too many, the narrative starts falling apart. But he’s definitely a character we like too is the answer to that.  But until we know the story, it’s hard to say what’ll come in and what won’t.

Well that won’t be a problem now if there’s a multi-film story arc and spinoffs too.

What do you think of a potential Transformers Cinematic Universe? Will G.I. Joe factor in? What new characters should be spun-off?

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