Transformers: The Last Knight will mark both an end and a beginning for the Transformers franchise. Michael Bay is (probably) stepping down after this film and ending his tenure as the defacto creative voice for these films. In his place, there is a writers' room led by Akiva Goldsman which will not only plot a sequel to this upcoming film but will also branch off into other spinoffs. These will include an '80s set Bumblebee movie, a Cybertron based animation film, and maybe even a movie set in ancient Rome.
That doesn't mean there won't be more main Transformers movies, however, as Paramount has every intention to keep those going in the new shared universe they're building. What isn't as clear is how far the writers' room have planned these films out into the future — especially in regards to the main line of films.
In a Screen Rant exclusive, during an interview with Lorezno Di Bonaventura at the Transformers: The Last Knight junket this weekend, the producer opened up about how the franchise will be moving forward with the next films. Di Bonaventura revealed that there are a few mysteries left to unravel in subsequent films which are hinted at in The Last Knight.
Age of Extinction had setup to this movie by mentioning the Knights and alluding to them, and Optimus Prime leaving to find his creators, and in this movie there’s a tease that they haven’t really uncovered all the secrets...
Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: Yes.
Is that already plotted out?
Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: No, not necessarily. We have some ideas but that may or may not play out in the next movie. We’re really waiting to see how the audience responds to this movie and what elements they really love because one of the things we found was - as filmmakers – that there was great freedom suddenly to break sort of the simplistic Decepticons vs. Autobots, and now, Arthurian legend, now Knights, and now humans have a role, and that was really exciting for us so I think we want to keep pushing out. So I don’t think you can anticipate necessarily that we’ll do a movie in sequence.
Interestingly, Guy Ritchie's latest film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword also featured Arthurian legend but did poorly at the box office. Transformers: The Last Knight is tracking to underperform all of the previous films in the series with only $75 million at the domestic box office. It is possible Paramount is curious whether North American audiences just aren't responding to the Arthurian aspect of the film and whether to downplay them moving forward.
Having said that, it is very probable that the plan was always to see what audiences respond to, as that seems to be the most even-handed approach to figuring out what comes next. The best sequel films tend to mix what audiences want with what they would never have expected. And there's no better way to do that then to outright ask them what they want.
While Transformers: The Last Knight is continuing this summer's trend of tentpoles underperforming at the domestic box-office, it is still on track for a strong worldwide take at the box-office. The Transformers films rake in far more money outside of the United States so it is unclear which audiences the franchise will listen to the most moving forward.
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018