Fans of Michael Bay's Transformers movies (or the Transformers franchise in general) have a fifth official installment of the film series to look forward to in The Last Knight, but Hasbro already has bigger plans for the series involving a slew of spinoffs and a run of new franchise-starters comprised of their other popular brands like G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Micronauts and ROM: Spaceknight. The ultimate goal here is to create a "Hasbro Cinematic Universe" to rival the sprawling multi-film continuities established by DC and Marvel.
Exactly how those plans could come together is still unclear, but a clue might now have been provided by IDW Comics. The company just announced a crossover event titled "Revolution" that will tie its version of various Hasbro characters together into a single storyline.
Launching in September along with a re-start of the attendant series with new Issue #1's, Revolution (which also debuted an exclusive teaser on THR) will unify several previously-unconnected franchises currently running at IDW including G.I. Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, ROM and Action Man (a retooling of the British incarnation of the original G.I. Joe). Explained editor-in-chief Chris Ryall:
"We didn’t want this to be what fans have seen from so many others, which is a reboot or a relaunch where you’re asked to forget about all these characters and stories you’ve been following for years. It’s just now everybody will be acknowledging each other in a much greater way than ever before."
"It centers around something called Ore 13, which is an unstable version of Energon, the material that gives the Transformers their power and life. There’s a version of that on earth, that has an adverse effect on tech, which adversely affects ROM, and changes the status of him and his villains, the Dire Wraiths. It affects the Micronauts universe in a way they didn’t expect, and then it also gives birth to M.A.S.K., which is a big new title we’re launching out of this."
Notably, several of the series (Transformers, G.I. Joe, ROM and Micronauts) began their time in comics as licensed (from Hasbro toy lines) books published by Marvel in the 1980s. While Transformers had arrived with a basic plot outline that was later expanded on by Marvel and Sunbow (the producers of the animated series), the others saw much of their now-canonical mythology birthed by Marvel writers asked to create a narrative from whole cloth based on toys that did not originally have a story attached. ROM in particular was, for a time, integrated into the continuity of the mainstream Marvel Universe; playing a key role in major events involving the X-Men and other characters. M.A.S.K., meanwhile, is expected to follow the setup of the franchise's animated series, which involved a special task-force using vehicles that transform into different, more elaborate vehicles to fight evil.
Officially, Revolution is not connected to the planned Hasbro Cinematic Universe, and it's unclear whether or not the films will borrow any inspiration from their IDW versions. Many fans are speculating that ROM (a half-human robotic warrior from space) will appear in the fifth Transformers feature as the "Last Knight" mentioned in the title; though there has been no official confirmation of this from Hasbro or Paramount Pictures.
Transformers: The Last Knight opens in U.S. theaters on June 23, 2017, followed by the Bumblebee spinoff on June 8, 2018, and Transformers 6 on June 28, 2019.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information about the Hasbro shared universe including G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light, M.A.S.K., and ROM The Spaceknight as it becomes available.