Michael Bay has directed four Transformers film and returns to direct the upcoming fifth movie Transformers: The Last Knight, but he won't be back for Transformers 6. Up until now he has been pretty much the sole creative voice for the franchise. Despite each film being critically lambasted, they've been wildly successful at the box-office with the franchise grossing more than $3.7 billion worldwide.
Transformers: The Last Knight will mark a bit of a departure, however, as Paramount put together a writer's table headed by Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman to create a shared universe with a more expansive mythology. This upcoming film will be the first film to lay the seeds for spin-off films including one about Bumblebee set in the 1980s, an animated prequel film set on Cybertron, and possibly one set in ancient Rome.
The fifth film in the franchise will also mark the departure of Michael Bay. In an interview with Fandango, the director said that The Last Knight will definitely be his last. Here's what he told the outlet:
“These movies that I’ve done, they are massive movies. They take a lot out of you,” Bay said when we asked if he was finally — for real, this time — stepping away from the Transformers franchise. “I’ve done it enough, and I’ve had a great time doing it. I’m going out with a bang on this one, and I feel like you gotta go out while you’re ahead, you know. I think I’ve had a good run, and I’ve got a lot of other movies I want to do.”
As for what films he would like to do next, he seems to be attracted to something more adult and violent. He continued:
“I just read a very bloody hit man movie that was a page turner. That seems like a fun one to do. I love doing 13 Hours, I love doing Pain & Gain — I think it’ll be something more serious and more adult, I guess.”
It shouldn't come as any surprise that Bay won't be moving away from the action genre, just away from giant transforming robots. This also isn't the first time he has said that The Last Knight would be his final film. In fact, he said the same thing for the third film Transformers: Dark of the Moon and fourth movie Transformers: Age of Extinction — so it is hard to really take him at his word now.
However, circumstances with this film are different than they were for either of those films. Paramount has already started prepping spinoff films to be helmed by other directors and the franchise has a new creative lead with Goldsman. They also won't have to go back to the drawing board if a new director is brought on to helm the inevitable Transformers 6 and beyond.
For Michael Bay fans, Transformers: The Last Knight should be a fond farewell. For those who are fans of the franchise but not the director, this could be an exciting change to get the kind of movie they've been waiting for. For Paramount, it allows them to release multiple Transformers movies and related films so it really seems to be win-win all the way around.