Cinematic universe writers rooms were supposed to be the answer to crafting reimagined mythologies for massive, unwieldy properties like Transformers and Universal’s monster movie-verse, “Dark Universe.” The idea was to bring together talented, creative, and experienced screenwriters in order to hash out a framework for years upon years of major feature films, all connected through a central brand, theme, or intellectual property; this would also allow for diverse points of view and styles for the final films themselves since they weren’t beholden to one singular creative vision. While that may work in some instances (the early days of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, for example), it’s clearly not a cure-all. Relatively poor box office and critical performances for both Transformers: The Last Knight and The Mummy may have the studios rethinking their writers room experiment.
Transformers was humming along just fine as a multibillion-dollar franchise until Paramount Pictures decided to take a page from the Golden Age of Television and put together a writers room to expand the brand’s mythology, one that was headed by Oscar-winning writer, Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind). But with Transformers: The Last Knight currently occupying the worst opening weekend, the worst domestic tally, and the worst international total by far among other Transformers films, it’s little surprise that Goldsman appears to be done with the franchise.
/Film had a very brief chance to chat with Goldsman during the ongoing TCA 2017 event and ask him if he was still involved with Transformers. His simple answer? “No.” While Transformers: The Last Knight was the first product of Paramount’s writers room, the next project is the standalone Autobot film Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight of LAIKA fame and opening opposite Warner Bros.’ Aquaman (for the moment) on December 21, 2018. Christina Hodson (Shut In, Unforgettable) holds the sole screenwriting credit for that film, and we’re hoping something more focused than Transformers: The Kitchen Sink arrives for that telling, one that should be a slam dunk.