Paramount continues to move forward with their Transformers franchise, regardless of how some may feel. Despite critical results dipping, the box office returns have continued to climb and result in the last two installments each crossing $1 billion worldwide. The studio is hoping for more of the same this summer with Transformers: The Last Knight bringing back familiar faces - both human and robotic - but the studio has bigger plans for the franchise outside of the core story.
Next year they will launch their first solo movie in the cinematic universe with everyone's favorite voice-damaged Autobot taking the spotlight. While plot details on Bumblebee remain undisclosed for now, the pre-production process has continued on with reports of a director search ongoing late last year. That search has come to a close with Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight being tapped to direct, and now we know who else was being considered.
THR's Borys Kit revealed this information on Twitter shortly after the news broke of Knight's involvement. As it turns out, Paramount was also considering Jaume Collet-Sera (The Shallows), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), Seth Gordon (Baywatch), and Aaron and Adam Nee (The Last Romantic).
If one thing is clear from this director shortlist and the hiring of Knight, Paramount was clearly looking for an up and coming director to shape this film. Kubo was Knight's first film for instance, and even then that is stop-motion animation - making the experience directing a CGI-heavy movie like Bumblebee quite the transition. However, Famuyiwa has already flirted with joining major franchises before when he was attached to direct The Flash movie, prior to leaving over creative differences.
Gordon and Collet-Sera are the most established directors of the bunch, but the two could not be further apart in their filmographies. Gordon is primarily a comedy director, but Baywatch could give him a chance to spread his action wings as well. Collet-Sera however is a longtime collaborator with Liam Neeson, so he knows how to do action. If anything, Collet-Sera's addition could've been enticing should that have brought Neeson to lend his iconic voice to a fellow Autobot - or even the villain perhaps.
With animation, comedy, indie, and action directors all in the mix for the job, Paramount appears to have cast a wide net to see who would have the best pitch for the movie. That appears to have been Knight, but each director in consideration on paper would bring a different style to the franchise. After all, with Michael Bay once again saying his next Transformers film will be his last, the studio could be looking for Knight to pick up the mantle moving forward - or come back around to any of these names.
Source: Borys Kit
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018