Paramount continues to expand its Tranformers franchise. Despite the franchise seemingly being on its last legs after 2017’s The Last Knight proved how much audiences were burned out on the series, and the quieter spin-off Bumblebee adding a temporary breath of fresh air, the studio is still planning on returning the series to its huge blockbuster roots.
Marco Ramirez, previously the showrunner for Netflix’s The Defenders – has signed to write a script for a new, standalone Transformers movie, with Charm City Kings director Angel Manuel Soto attached to direct. This movie will reportedly not be connected to either the Michael Bay Transformers movies nor the aforementioned Bumblebee.
However, the studio is still developing films in that main Transformers universe. Steven Caple Jr. (Creed 2) previously signed on to helm a bombastic Bay-esque Transformers film that’s currently set for a June 2022 release.
Like every other studio in the current era, Paramount is clearly invested in growing the franchise to feed the relentless demand for content. But they may be chasing an era that’s already extinct
The 2011 and 2014 Transformers installments each made over a billion dollars, but the series has since weathered diminishing returns. The Last Knight earned “only” $603 million worldwide. The next year, Bumblebee brought in $465.2 million, admittedly on a much smaller budget.
It’s possible that audiences were burned out more by the relentless release strategy of the films, and that the gap between Bumblebee and the next film will help drive up excitement. Or maybe Transformers is just not as popular as it once was. Obviously Paramount still think it’s a viable brand, which it probably is, but audiences will determine the outcome with their wallets.
Either way, Soto is a good hire. He’s already dipping his toes into the blockbuster waters as he’s signed on to direct Blue Beetle for Warner Bros.’ DC Films unit. Ramirez previously worked on many of Netflix’s Marvel TV shows, and also helped develop the new Twilight Zone reboot alongside Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg.