Michael Bay has found his next two directorial efforts in the forms of 6 Underground and Robopocalypse. After making a name for himself in the late '90s with Bad Boys, The Rock, and Armageddon, Bay got caught up in creating a major franchise in the shape of Transformers. Paramount's live-action Transformers film series started off strong with Bay at the helm, but the quality quickly dipped even as the box office receipts skyrocketed. The movies have taken up most of Bay's time over the last decade, even though his most widely acclaimed films in that stretch came from outside the world of Autobots.
The action-heavy director started to find his way again in 2013's polarizing bodybuilding crime flick Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. However, it was his John Krasinski-led thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi in 2016 that reminded people what Bay is really capable of. Now that he's leaving the Transformers movies in the past, it looks like he's found two more projects that can hopefully continue this momentum.
Variety is reporting that Bay has lined up 6 Underground and Robopocalypse as his next two directorial efforts. The former is an original concept action movie that comes from Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. The latter project finds Bay in talks to adapt the 2011 novel, after being handpicked by former director Steven Spielberg to take over. The current plan is for Bay to film 6 Underground this summer for a 2019 release, and then get Robopocalypse ready for a 2020 release.
Even though Bay's name has become a bit tarnished over the years thanks to Transformers, he's still a big name. There is a reason Warner Bros. spoke to him about Lobo after all, but that project is definitely years away now. What he will do with 6 Underground is the bigger unknown, thanks to plot details being kept under wraps. But, considering the biggest criticism of Bay's movies is typically lacking characters/story and forced humor, pairing him up the writers of Deadpool could be a perfect fit. It will still require Bay to fully execute their vision, and that assumes 6 Underground has a comedic side to it at all. This could be Wernick and Reese's attempt to show their dramatic talents beyond Deadpool's humor, which may actually make Bay a better fit.
Robopocalypse, on the other hand, is a project Spielberg has been attached to for years, but has never been able to get off the ground. It's routinely taken the back seat to his other projects like Ready Player One, Indiana Jones 5, and the remake of West Side Story. The latter two look like Spielberg's next projects, so Robopocalypse needed a new director if it was ever going to happen. The film adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's novel previously had Anne Hathaway and Chris Hemsworth attached to star, but that was years ago. Bay's version will presumably feature an entirely different cast - one that will be put together over the course of the year ahead.