Akiva Goldsman announced today that he has added two more writers to his ever-expanding Transformers braintrust, which will set off on their task to pen the next iteration of the titanic franchise this coming week. Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan and Black List-ed penner Geneva Robertson are the latest pair to be added to the swelling group, as reported today by THR. They, of course, are added to a league of writers, made up of Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beer, Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), The Walking Dead originator Robert Kirkman, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn, and Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s Jeff Pinkner.
Discussing the task at hand, Goldsman was quick to discuss the goal of replicating the serial formula of television in movie form:
“There is such reciprocity between TV and movies now, that we’re borrowing this from TV.I got a taste of this from JJ Abrams when I came in to write an episode of Fringe, and then Jeff Pinkner let me hang around for four years like the drunk uncle. The whole process of the story room was really delightful, and we are seeing it more in movies as this moves toward serialized storytelling. There are good rooms around town, including the Monsters Room at Universal, the Star Wars room, and of course, at Marvel. We’re trying to beg, borrow and steal from the best of them, and gathered a group of folks interested in developing and broadening this franchise. There is a central corridor of movies that has been proceeding quite well, but our challenge will be to answer, where do we go from here?”
It’s not entirely surprising that they would take this route, explaining the inclusion of Kirkman as well. The MCU has built their series in a very similar way, which offers more story but often at the risk of diluting personality and uniqueness. Goldsman went on to discuss the influences that will go into the process:
“We will look at the toys, the TV shows, the merchandise, everything that has been generated by Hasbro, from popular to forgotten iterations, and establish a mythological time line. It has been designed with a lot of visual help, toys, robots, sketches and writers and artists. After that super saturation, the writers will figure out not one, but numerous films that will extend the universe.”
The head of the writers room closed out by explaining exactly why he took the gig:
“It just felt like such fertile ground and a rich environment for storytelling, and there has already been thoughtful work done long before any of us came into the room…We will be innovative miners, and we will have fun and get to do what we imagined this was all about when we were kids.”
It will be interesting to see how this tactic pays off when the films actually start hitting theaters. The major problems with the films thus far have often been in the scripting phase, with Michael Bay‘s fireworks offering the payoff of quite a lot of yawn-worthy familial yammering. The mix of voices alone should be enough to lend Transformers personality beyond Bay’s bombastic stylistic excesses.