With Bumblebee, Paramount and Hasbro not only added another box office win for the Transformers, they secured the most critically acclaimed film in the franchise. But what’s a little harder to see without the facts and figures to back it up is the effect that Travis Knight‘s film, the first in the series to be helmed by someone other than Michael Bay, will have on the movies to come. The relatively more slowly paced, less chaotic, and more character-focused story was met with praise but also some disappointment by moviegoers, citing a distinct “lack of action” and Bayhem. Franchise producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura is keeping track of all the feedback from fans and the lessons learned from Bumblebee in order to shape the future of the franchise.
In a chat with di Bonaventura for his upcoming horror flick reboot Pet Sematary, our own Haleigh Foutch caught up with the super-producer while at SXSW. We already brought you part of the conversation that dealt with the upcoming sequel to Bumblebee and the plan to balance the Bayhem against the emotional story that audiences responded to, but there was much more that di Bonaventura had in store for the next installment of the franchise on a grand scale. For longtime fans of Transformers, you’ll be happy to hear that they plan on developing the core cast of characters into thinking, feeling, and perhaps even loving beings.
Here’s what di Bonaventura had to say:
One of the things I want to see, and I don’t know if we’ll do this particular thing, but I think we will eventually do a love story between Transformers. What does a love story mean? Definitely not sex, maybe not even kissing, but the idea that they would have that emotional crush has never really been brought in. That’s kind of the direction we’re going to try to head into, which is to give them human desires that, up until now, we haven’t seen much of. I think that will change the relationship with the Transformers. So we may do some wild action, we’ll do action for sure in the main line, but it’s a different kind of attempt. I know we will hold on to a lot of the lessons from Bumblebee.
I love that di Bonaventura had to stress that there would be no robot sexytimes in the movies to come; if you want that, Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots has plenty. Instead, what he’s basically saying is that the characters will be treated as humans and will actually inherit some traits and personality that go beyond quirky voices, the ability to deliver one-liners, and the all-consuming need to battle the Decepticons for the good of the world. Hopefully this injection of hopes, and dreams, and a little sparkmate infatuation goes a long way towards delivering future Transformers films that deliver action-packed spectacles while also offering compelling character stories. The comics and cartoons have been doing just that for a long, long time.