It became clear when Paramount assembled a Transformers writers’ room filled with some of the most talented writers in the entertainment industry to brainstorm ideas for the future films in the franchise that the next Transformers film, whatever it was, would be very different from all the rest. and now, some new IMAX footage from Transformers: The Last Knight suggests the film will live up to those expectations.
Bringing back only a few of the franchise’s previous, notable cast members, The Last Knight is taking its title very literally, with sequences and a story that tie back into the medieval times, and specifically, the legend of King Arthur and his round table. In what it assumed to be Michael Bay’s last outing as a director on the franchise, The Last Knight is shaping up to be a bit of a make-it-or-break-it chance for the main Transformers saga to correct itself creatively.
During a series of special fan events around the globe, Paramount previewed around 15 to 20 minutes worth of IMAX footage from The Last Knight, giving new insights into the story, characters, and action sequences of the film. The footage began with an intense medieval battle between two opposing armies, one led by King Arthur and his Knights. They’re apparently looking for the wizard known as Merlyn, though it initially seems doubtful he’ll show up, before the footage suddenly cuts to a drunk Stanley Tucci — who is likely the magician in question — in the mountains, who happens upon some kind of Transformers staff with Cybertron markings on it, that has blood dripping down from it.
The footage next shows Optimus Prime, floating in space asking for redemption from his makers, before suddenly cutting to a couple of kids sneaking out onto a football stadium field, inspecting what turns out to be the body of a still-alive Transformer. As the kids are swarmed and attacked by security bots, Isabella Moner’s Izabela appears and begins bombing the security bots, trying to help the kids escape, as both Bumblebee and Mark Wahlberg’s Cade appear to help them escape too.
The next clip introduces Anthony Hopkins’ Sir Edmund Burton, who lives in a giant castle in the English countryside, and who meets with Cade and a new Autobot there. He shows Cade a Transformer medallion, telling him that he was the chosen one, before letting the medallion crawl up Cade’s arm and attach itself to him. Suddenly, a fancy sports car comes speeding up to the castle and transforms, throwing a distraught woman out of it named Vivian Wembley, who Burton has enlisted to help them. Turns out, Vivian is a professor of history, has some fun banter with Cade, before Edmund show them both the original round table from King Arthur’s court, which Edmund’s entire castle has been built around.
A flashback suddenly shows Arthur and his men toasting to an alliance, where several other large Transformers holding swords stand in the background, raising them in solidarity with the knights. The legend has it that one Knight would be chosen to save the world, who the footage suggests may be Cade. From there on out, the final assault of footage begins. It’s basically a montage, narrated by Edmund, as it shows scenes of Autobots and Decepticons fighting each other all throughout history, including in front of a Nazi-run mansion in Europe. Edmund says that they always come back.
We also see Josh Duhamel having a heated argument with Cade, insisting that the mission is over, spliced together with more fight scenes, with shots of Transformers coming out of the water, Knights fighting Optimus, and then a plane crash with its passengers falling out. But the footage ends with one last memorable moment, as Bumblebee engages with a one-on-one battle against Optimus himself, while Cade lays nearby defenseless.
So obviously, there’s a lot to unpack here. Specifically, the new insight into the actual medieval story at the heart of The Last Knight looks like it may find an interesting way to tie into the entire history of the Transformers and their time on Earth. So to say that Transformers: The Last Knight is looking more and more like the most ambitious outing of the franchise doesn’t seem all that far off, which is saying something, considering the previous installments have gone to some seriously unexpected, and often ridiculed places already.