TRANSFORMERS 4 and 5 to Shoot Back-to-Back; Jason Statham May Star

     October 17, 2011

TRANSFORMERS 4 and 5 Jason Statham slice

In a down economy, everyone is looking for unique ways to save a few million dollars. When you have a billion dollar franchise like Hasbro’s Transformers, every million counts. Noting the rising costs of special effects, advanced planning for marketing tie-ins and laborious contract negations, Paramount is considering shooting the fourth and fifth installments back-to-back. Hasbro CEO announced at the company’s third quarter earnings conference that they were actively discussing this strategy with Paramount, director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg. With Shia LaBeouf not returning, this frees up some room for a new face of the franchise…perhaps, Jason Statham?

Hit the jump for more on Transformers 4 and 5.

Transformers_3_Dark_of_the_Moon_PosterNews of the “rolling shoot” strategy by Paramount and Hasbro comes by way of Variety, whose sources say there may very well be two films headed into production instead of one. The tactic has worked before, going as far back as The Matrix: Reloaded and Revolutions to the divide-and-conquer approach of the final film of both the Harry Potter and Twilight series. (Director Justin Lin’s Fast Six and Fast Seven may be headed down the same path).  This strategy pays off in a number of ways, which I will attempt to break down.

Creatively, everyone can get on the same page and develop a plot treatment for two films at one time. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon) is reported to have ideas that are in lockstep with the studio, but has only just begun creative meetings with writers. Michael Bay, who is currently only slated as an executive producer with Spielberg, is said to have interest in directing if he can have some time to work on his passion-project Pain and Gain. Bay is also a creative consultant on Transformers: The Ride 3D which opens at Universal Studios Hollywood next spring. Planning two films without a break would be easier on everyone’s schedules.

Contractually, getting cast and crew on board for two films would save time and money over renegotiating between shoots. One familiar face of the franchise is definitely out, as Shia LaBeouf has stepped aside. This frees Paramount up to put a new stamp on the franchise and allows the writers to take more liberties with plot lines. The aforementioned Jason Statham has been on the radar, but no offer is on the table as of yet.

Lastly, the marketing advantage to planning two films consecutively is money in the bank for Hasbro and Paramount. The toymaker has made over $1 billion in toy sales alone from just the first two movies. Hasbro reported a 10% rise in profits from one year ago, due in large part to the Transformers tie-in sales. Although the company has plans to make feature films from some of its other products such as Micronauts, Candyland, Risk, Stretch Armstrong, Clue, Monopoly, Ouija and Battleship, there is no desire to turn into a Marvel Studios-type filmmaker. CEO Goldner seems content to do the toymaking while studios continue to do the filmmaking. If you ask me, it’s worked pretty well so far.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen movie image optimus prime

Around The Web

Latest News

New THE MARTIAN Pictures Further Reveal Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi Thriller

Matt Damon leads the "'Cast Away' on Mars"-esque film, which also stars Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Kate Mara.

Watch: POLTERGEIST’s Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt Play “Save or Kill”

Which would you save? ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’? Han Solo or Indiana Jones? ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Breaking Bad’? Watch as Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt are forced to choose.

ASSASSIN’S CREED and Next BOURNE Movie May Add EX MACHINA’s Alicia Vikander

It looks like she won't star in 'The Circle' opposite Tom Hanks after all.

TOP 5: TOMORROWLAND, First STEVE JOBS Trailer, POLTERGEIST, Cannes 2015

David Letterman's final 'Top Ten' and yet another enthusiastic 'Mad Max: Fury Road' recommendation also play roles in this week's Top 5.

ENTOURAGE: Jeremy Piven Talks Returning to Ari, Cameos, and More from the Set

From the set of the film, the actor discusses the difficulty of coming back to the role of Ari, fan reaction to meeting him on the street, and more.

First THE MARTIAN Picture Reveals Matt Damon as Stranded Astronaut Mark Watney

Ridley Scott's adaptation of the Andy Weir novel is due in theaters on November 25th.

JURASSIC WORLD on Track for $100 Million+ Opening Weekend

The fourth installment in the 'Jurassic Park' franchise is looking to perform similar to 'Man of Steel', but will the movie be any good?

Caption This: MODERN FAMILY’s Luke Needs a Pick Up Line

Also, 'The Flash's' Jesse L. Martin is super sad -- is it because of Luke's woeful lack of game?

Friday Box Office: TOMORROWLAND Edges Out PITCH PERFECT 2

Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ got the win yesterday, but will end up battling ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ for dominance over the long holiday weekend. Meanwhile, the ‘Poltergeist’ reboot opens on target, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ remains strong and ‘Age of Ultron’ gets set to pass $400 million domestic.

A Black and White Version of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Will Be on the Blu-Ray

Plus, watch a "deleted scene" from the movie featuring Patton Oswalt.

Page 1 of 3,96212345...102030...Last »