With Transformers: the Last Knight hitting theaters next week, rumors have it that one of the planned upcoming spinoffs for the robots in disguise will primarily take place during Ancient Roman times.
Paramount is looking to develop the Transformers franchise beyond the massive Optimus Prime-led blockbusters that make up the core films. This includes spinning supporting characters off into their own films and changing the settings of the movies to expand beyond battles for the modern-day Earth as we know it. We now know that one of the spinoffs being planned changes the setting and tone considerably, even threatening to once again reshuffle the history within the series.
Fan site Transformer World 2005 obtained an article from Empire Magazine on the future of the franchise. Within that information, which included tidbits on the animated Cybertron prequel and the upcoming Bumblebee prequel, it was revealed that discussions have happened in-house about an Ancient Roman setting for one of the films.
The ancient Rome setting for a Transformers film may seem far-fetched on first take, but this is not uncharted territory for the franchise. Parts of Transformers: the Last Knight take place during the medieval reign of King Arthur and World War II, again affirming that the Autobots and Decepticons have been heavily involved in manipulating our known history. Both Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Age of Extinction show that the robots have been around since the most primitive of times, hence the existence of the Dinobots and the alien presence within the pyramids. Transformers: Dark of the Moon also rewrites the "Space Race" of the 1960's, connecting it directly to a crashed rebel Autobot ship on the moon.
Michael Bay, who has directed all five entries in the franchise up until this point, went on record in April to say that Paramount has ideas for 14 sequels and spinoffs for the series and that he would be willing to return in some capacity for them. The 1980s set Bumblebee prequel is the only idea that has gotten off the ground, as it is scheduled for next year and will be directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings). There are rumors that Edge of Seventeen lead Hailee Steinfeld will star in that film.
On one hand, the idea of Transformers in Ancient Rome is ludicrous and feels like an idea far past where the series could reasonably go without jumping the shark. Then again, the many critics of the franchise would argue that the series is far past shark-jumping. There's something inherently out-there and cool about the idea of Transformers participating in massive gladiator matches that could be a cinematic treat.
Source: Empire Magazine [via Transformer World 2005]
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018