Michael Bay's Transformers movie series is one of the most profitable brands in Hollywood - despite overall harsh reviews from critics (and divisive response from longtime fans of the robots in disguise). The films, alone, have collectively nabbed over $3.75 billion in box office sales around the globe - an enormous number that doesn't take into account all of the toys, merchandise, and home video sales earned under the blockbuster franchise umbrella. No doubt, there's room for improvement in Bay's action series - and the recent "soft-reboot" in Transformers: Age of Extinction (replacing star Shia LaBeouf with Mark Wahlberg) fell short of mixing up the formula as much as some viewers were hoping.
However, even if the films are more a vehicle for action (rather than an inventive adaptation of a beloved animated and comic book series), moviegoers keep turning out to see what high-octane thrills and eye-popping set pieces the Bay has included with each new chapter. Bay, himself, has even talked about walking away from the franchise - and leaving his Transformers in the hands of directors who might be eager to pick-up where Bay left off; yet, the director is back for at least one more installment, Transformers 5, releasing in 2017.
Now, thanks to Paramount Pictures, Transformers film fans finally have their first official piece of Transformers 5 marketing to mull over - a teaser video released on the film's newly created Instagram page: @transformersmovie.
Check out the video below - which reveals that the new film will be titled Transformers: The Last Knight:
Prior to today's reveal, the studio has been relatively tight-lipped about exactly what to expect from Transformers 5 - with industry casting reports confirming the addition of new supporting actors who will join Wahlberg and Optimus Prime this round. The rest of the pre-release Transformers 5 information, so far, has been a relatively muddled mix of interviews suggesting the studio was working on a Transformers "shared universe" (using the phrasing "shared universe" somewhat loosely) that could include spin-offs (most notably one featuring Bumblebee), prequels, and mainline Transformers chapters. Still, in recent months, the studio and producers have downplayed that plan, slightly, calling into question whether Paramount actually has firm plans - or are simply interested in keeping the series going (and have engaged in early pre-production brainstorming).
Announcement of The Last Knight subtitle isn't exactly the most revealing piece of information that fans might have hoped to see - especially with the film releasing in less than a year - but it does provide an intriguing tease of where the series could be headed. After all, the end of Age of Extinction saw fan-favorite Autobot leader Optimus Prime blasting into outer space in search of his creators (after some vague hints from bounty-hunter bot Lockdown - who suggested Autobots and Decepticons were too busy fighting to understand the true "purpose" of their creation).
At face value, The Last Knight could be a nod to Optimus - who earned himself some slick new Samurai/Medieval-inspired armor in Age of Extinction along with a sword that, depending on the interpretation could be an iconic piece of Transformers mythology (such as the Sword of Judgement). Nevertheless, much like Revenge of the Fallen reimagined a god-like Transformer (with a totally different backstory), and Dark of the Moon introduced fan-favorite hero Sentinel Prime (only to reveal he was in league with the Decepticons), it's equally possible that The Last Knight could actually be the villain of the story - or an ancient being that Optimus and his team must find.
That all said, possibly the most telling tease in the video clip is the change in eye-color for Optimus from light blue to a Decepticon-ish purple. Could The Last Knight feature a corrupted version of Prime (a consequence of who or whatever he encounters in outer space)? Or is it possible fans will actually get to see Optimus' evil doppelgänger, Nemesis Prime - or a version of ultimate Transformers bad guy Unicron? The eye-color change is likely a major hint - and will be a source of fun discussion in the coming weeks (at least until further official details become available).
Transformers: The Last Knight opens in U.S. theaters on June 23rd, 2017, followed by the Bumblebee spinoff on June 8th, 2018, and Transformers 6 on June 28th, 2019.
Source: Paramount Pictures