In spite of mixed critical reception and frustrations from longtime fans, Michael Bay’s Transformers series continues to rake in massive box office hauls, sell loads of merchandise, and expand the film franchise. Without question, action often takes precedent over nuanced story in the Transformers movie series; however, Bay’s films remain on the gold-standard for CGI spectacle – and, if the trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight is any indication, the latest installment will be no exception.
During Monday Night Football, Paramount Pictures unveiled the first teaser for The Last Knight – after previously debuting the Age of Extinction teaser during Super Bowl XLVIII. The 2014 TV spot marked our first official look at Grimlock and The Last Knight teaser features an equally exciting reveal.
Like most first-look teasers, The Last Knight trailer is short on story details – opting to focus on cool visuals that will get fans of the series talking (and sharing the video). The approach will certainly leave a lot of questions for moviegoers who have been trying to connect all of the leaked details (King Arthur, Nazis, Hot Rod, mini-Dinobots, and a new Megatron design, among others) but given that a ten-second glimpse of Optimus Prime riding Grimlock became a buzz-worthy reveal back in 2014, there’s plenty of room to think that a memorable image, such as Optimus Prime fighting Bumblebee, rather than plot details, is the way to market a Transformers film – especially at this stage in pre-release advertising.
In addition to a new look at fan-favorite Optimus Prime as well as a (longer haired) Cade Yeager (Mark Walhberg) and the return of Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel), the trailer provides our first look in-movie glimpse of new Autobots and Decepticons – after several of their respective vehicle modes had previously been spotted in public film shoots.
The trailer does hint at the film’s central “mystery” – the connection between Transformers and man throughout history – a narrative through-line that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura assured us would both expand Transformers mythology while also serving as an accessible entry point for new/returning viewers who might have skipped Age of Extinction or other Transformers film installments.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can’t fill in some of the gaps with previously announced details – and information that we gleaned from our time on the film’s set (read our full Transformers: The Last Knight set visit report). Prior Transformers film have, in every single case, contained some tie to world history (the Hoover Dam, the pyramids, the moon landing, and the extinction of the dinosaurs), so it should come as little surprise that The Last Knight will also feature connections to the shared history between Earth and our Cybertronian visitors. How, exactly, Bay will connect the current threat in The Last Knight with King Arthur remains to be seen (and may not be fully revealed until the film hits theaters) but, if the Transformers were instrumental in helping build the Egyptian pyramids, who is to say they didn’t, at some point, (directly or indirectly) influence other civilizations in of our world’s history?
Transformers: The Last Knight opens in U.S. theaters on June 23, 2017, followed by the Bumblebee spin-off on June 8, 2018, and Transformers 6 on June 28, 2019.