Ever since Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Michael Bay has said that he was done with the Transformers franchise, but has come back for the fourth and fifth installments. However, with the upcoming sequel, Transformers: The Last Knight, Bay has written a letter explaining that this new film will launch a new Transformers universe, but it’s also his last ride with the franchise:
I’ve been living in this franchise for over 10 years now. For Transformers: The Last Knight, we put together a writers’ room designed to greatly expand our mythology, integrating our films in a whole new way. Every movie will interlink.
It was a huge task to expand mythology from the beginning of the world throughout history. We had a great team of writers: Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind); Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man); Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down); Zak Penn (Ready Player One); Lindsey Beer (Barbie); Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider); Christina Hodson (Bumblebee); Steven DeKnight (Daredevil, Smallville); Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lost); and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man).
Through the summer of 2015, they worked in a huge space on the Paramount lot, surrounded by over 10,000 concept images from the franchise’s history: the movies, cartoons, and comic books. They had a life-size Bumblebee, a Megatron head, and many other props staring them down. We pulled from everything. It was a fan’s dream room.
We brought in Transformers historians from Hasbro to educate them on where Transformers has been – so that they could figure out where it can go.
I can safely say that there’s never been a Transformers film with the huge visual scope and expansive mythology as this movie, The Last Knight.
It’s bittersweet for me. With every Transformers film, I’ve said it would be my last. I see the 120 million fans around the world who see these movies, the huge theme park lines to the ride and the amazing Make- A-Wish kids who visit my sets, and it somehow keeps drawing me back. I love doing these movies. This film was especially fun to shoot. But, this time might really be it. So I’m blowing this one out.
It’s a final chapter and a new beginning. Here’s the writers’ log line:
The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference.
In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.
Transformers was always suited for Bay’s talents, and yet none of the sequels have matched the surprisingly entertaining first movie. It’s time to get some fresh blood into these movies and see if there’s any potential to make this more than an explosion fest.
As for Bay’s future, he’ll always be Bay. You can see that when he tries to stretch himself, like with The Island or 13 Hours, he always comes back to what he knows, which is explosions and machismo. He only has one level, which is very loud. That’s not to say he’s a bad director; he pulls off some incredibly complicated shots and he’s a master of his craft when it comes to elaborate set pieces. But as a storyteller, I’m curious to see what he does now that he’s done with the giant robot fights.
Transformers: The Last Knight opens June 23rd.