The first trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight drops soon and though it's definitely the fifth film in the popular franchise, it's more of a beginning than an end. After the fourth film Paramount hired a team of writers to develop ideas for future films, and while on the set of the film in August, producer Lorenzo DiBonaventua provided updates on everything in the works.
Michael Bay and his soldiers on the set of Transformers: The Last Knight. All Images: Paramount.
Below, we break down what the plan for the Transformers franchise is after The Last Knight, which opens June 22.
Transformers Six and Seven
During production of The Last Knight, DiBonaventura explained there were already outlines for the next two sequels. However, he didn't want to have people work on scripts until they knew what this fifth film would be. Now that filming is complete, though, things are sure to move forward soon.
"I think [six and seven] are probably the next conversation now that we really know where we're headed," he said. "I think we have enough under our belt now to make that judgement. And we also designed the [writer's] room that we can do standalone movies. So I think that's always hard, to step away from an established sequence and go, 'You know what? We're just going to do a standalone movie!'"
He continued: "So in that sense, we're still digesting that kind of process. Does Transformers 6 have to relate to the five before it? That will be an ongoing debate right through making it, I'm sure."
There's also a Bumblebee standalone film coming, currently being written by writer Christian Hodson. According to DiBonaventura, it may not even have other Transformers in it.
"It's Bumblebee's story," he explained. "I don't think you'll see a lot more [Transformers] in it. We'll see as it evolves. But in the treatment form? No."
Animated Cybertron Film
There's also an animated film set on Cybertron that's currently being written. And though it's not exactly a prequel to the five Transformers films, DiBonaventura did say it would fit in.
"It's in continuity with the mythology, so, yeah. Our deep dive into Cybertron will have some continuity to that," the producer admitted. "There is a — I won't say a relationship, but I'll say it's touching on relatively the same time period, so I think in that sense, there's a direct relationship. We're not trying to affect the animated movie, and the animated movie is not trying to mimic or take from [the live-action films]. It's just we're taking from the same general area."
Things won't end there for the Transformers. More spin-off movies are in the works, and they could be very surprising.
"Well, the animated movie is not Earth-based," he said. "That's a Cybertron-based movie. But I think all of us involved, to keep it relatable, you need an Earth relationship to it. It's not necessary, but I think we like it."
They don't even, necessarily, have to be in the same present time period.
"Yeah, you could [change the era]. For sure, you could do that. And we've examined — you could easily make an argument that in Roman times, you know, there were..." he trailed off. "That seems like a good period."
Finally, as Paramount tries to build out the Transformers shared universe, the question inevitably becomes: Will they cross paths with Hasbro's other toy franchises, such as MASK or GI Joe? The producer doesn't think so.
"No, we're keeping [Transformers] separate for the moment," DiBonaventura said. "I don't know if Hasbro, in their secret plans, have [crossover plans]. They have never brought it up."
So don't hold your breath for the GI Joe/Transformers crossover.