Transformers: The Last Knight somewhat expands the possibilities for the Transformers franchise by bringing in Arthurian Legend and opening up the idea that Transformers movies don't have to be set in the present day. The upcoming Bumblebee standalone film will reportedly follow in the footsteps of The Last Knight by also heading into the past, though only as far back as the 1980s, but new rumors suggest there might be a Transformers movie set even farther back in ancient Rome.
Now that the idea of Transformers movies set in different time periods has been broached, some fans will no doubt clamor for a movie version of Beast Wars, the 1990s animated series that took place in the far future and saw the robot-to-vehicle Transformers characters we know and love evolved into a new race of robots that transform into animals. But is a Beast Wars movie really feasible?
At least one person at the heart of the Transformers creative team doesn't think a Beast Wars movie would work. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked to Comicbook.com about Beast Wars and admitted he is puzzled by the whole concept of replacing vehicle Transformers with animals:
"I'm probably not the one to be asking that question to because I don't get Beast Wars, but you know, thankfully I'm not the only vote on it. I've never quite understood, they kind of feel like incompatible to me, you have animals, robots, we're used to cars."
The interviewer then reminded di Bonaventura about the Dinobots, robots that transform into dinosaurs, who have long been accepted alongside their vehicle-to-robot counterparts without any problem. Di Bonaventura admitted that Dinobots "work great too."
Dinobots aside, the question di Bonaventura seems to be asking by expressing skepticism about Beast Wars is whether general movie fans would be ready to accept the idea of Transformers who changed into animals instead of vehicles. Over five films, a certain world has been established that's built around the idea of robots that change into cars, trucks and other mechanical devices, but switching that up with the Beast Wars concept might be too much of a leap for a big-budget tentpole movie that must attract non-hardcore fans.
On the other hand, if audiences are already willing to accept the rather outrageous idea of earth being a staging ground for an ongoing war between factions of alien robots that hide among us disguised as cars, is it really that much of a stretch to get them to accept replacing vehicles with gorillas, cheetahs, wasps and manta rays?
The overarching point is that after Transformers: The Last Knight and the upcoming Bumblebee, the future of the Transformers franchise feels very much up-in-the-air. Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg are both likely gone, and reportedly the future of the series hasn't really been mapped out. So maybe di Bonaventura can be persuaded to consider Beast Wars after all.
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018