Earlier this year, I was standing on the set of Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight outside of Detroit, Michigan. In between getting to see Bay work up close for the first time and watching tons of explosions and gunfire, I was able to participate in a group interview with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
During an extended conversation with one of the few people that’s been involved in all the Transformers movies besides Michael Bay, he revealed how The Last Knight came together, how the film explores the Transformers mythology, what’s different about this sequel, how they determine which characters to include, if they listen to the fans when making the films, future sequels, the status of the Bumblebee spinoff, if people need to have seen the first four installments to understand The Last Knight, how Grimlock plays a larger role, their relationship with Hasbro, and so much more. If you’re a fan of Transformers, I promise you’ll love this interview because it’s loaded with info. Check out what he had to say below.
Question: What is the basic thing going on here? We saw in the last movie Optimus flies away.
Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: I’m not going to give too much away. It’s going to go back into the deep mythology of the Transformers. On Earth, our guys are going to find a whole other level of mythology that’s happening on Earth that really–you know, we did this writer’s table a long time ago, and I think one of the great things that came out of it, was–one was sort of refreshing ourselves in the depth of the Transformers mythology, which is actually quite impressive, and two was building it out, and taking some things–sort of the way the movie ended, you’re going, all right, it’s headed in that direction.
There’s a lot of the mythology that was sort of that way too, where we were sitting around going, all right, where is the logical place for this to head? So I think–I know–you’re going to get two pieces of the mythology that converge at the end. So that’s sort of the driving part of it, of the movie, I would say.
Well, one of the things that we all know that you had the writer table and you developed spin-offs and future sequels. So how much is it now that you guys are thinking this is the first of many future movies, and laying those Easter eggs? Do you know what I mean?
Di Bonaventura: Yeah. You’ve got to be careful with that stuff, because then you start thinking about the other movies and not about the one you’re making. There’s definitely, I would say, we definitely spent some time going “How does this link up and where are these other things going to go?” So I think in their initial construction in the writer’s room, and the initial sort of thinking, we spent a lot of time on that, thinking about the interrelationship. Now, when we’re making the movie, we don’t think a lot about it, it’s just what is in the script is in the script.
Are there direct connections, though, that you would see to the Bumblebee spin-off of things in this movie? Does this set things up?
Di Bonaventura: Sometimes is the answer. It’s not always, because I think then it feels like you’re really trying to widget it all together, and it becomes a little too neat. But I think–I don’t think, I know–some of the things will have a very direct relationship. You’ll see some things in here that are laying a pipe. You won’t necessarily know that it’s laying a pipe for another movie, but it’s there.
So there’s probably, in a really meaningful way, two or three things in this movie that really have a meaningful aspect in terms of it, and then there’s a bunch of little things. But we’re not making this movie to set up the other movies. That’s what I’m trying to say. If you get too carried away with that, you stop thinking about this movie.