[UPDATE: OK, maybe it IS a reboot after all.]
Hoping to see the next Transformers film offer a new take on the live-action version of everybody's favorite Hasbro toys? That's not going to happen. Even if director Michael Bay and star Shia LaBeouf are done with the series, Transformers 4 is coming and it's going to continue down its current path of success.
Producer Don Murphy (Splice, Shoot 'Em Up), who has served as producer on all three Transformers films to date, assures fans that the franchise isn't getting a reboot and that it's more likely to start up a second trilogy, following the same style we're now accustomed to.
On the message boards of his personal site, Murphy stated the following about the future of the series post-Transformers: Dark of the Moon:
"What happens next? Certainly not a reboot. We haven’t lost the Transformers. They didn’t grow up or become expensive like Toby Maguire. I don’t know what happens next. I’m pretty sure there will be a second trilogy. I am pretty sure it will kick ass. And I am pretty sure some of you will hate it because it wasn’t all bots."
We saw what happens when a Transformers movie loses one of its human lead characters (i.e. nothing, see: Megan Fox) so with or without Sam Witwicky, the Autobots will return and help lead Paramount Pictures to box office success.
While many fans have shared desires for a movie with less humans and more Cybertronians on screen, that's also not a realistic expectation. Like it or not, the mass audiences need a human connection to the film and as cool as it would be to see a movie based entirely on Cybertron, it will continue to be grounded here on Earth. The budget couldn't support the alternative and they need real people to do the press.
It's only a matter of time before Transformers 4 gets the official greenlight but if they don't rush it, there is still a possibility of Michael Bay returning to direct TF4. Who the antagonists will be and who will become the new face of the franchise to replace Shia LaBeouf are something Paramount will need to start thinking about, so let the speculation begin!
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know your ideas for Transformers 4!
Source: Don Murphy