On the heels of recent criticism surrounding the lack of diversity in their Transformers braintrust, Paramount Pictures has hired Lindsey Beer and Christina Hodson to join the Akiva Goldsman-spearheaded writer’s room assembled to develop the future of the multi-billion dollar franchise. Beer and Hodson are the first female writers to join the writer’s room conceived by Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura to create a Marvel-syle shared Transformers Universe.
Deadline reports that Beer and Hodson will join already-hired writers Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Zak Penn (Ready Player One), Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man) and Jeff Pinkner (Lost). The studio’s goal is to have another Transformers sequel ready to go by the time Bay wraps his Benghazi drama 13 Hours. We don’t know what the team is working on just yet, but there have been rumors of a Bumblebee spinoff.
Though neither has a released film to their credit, both are up-and-coming screenwriters with an impressive list of projects in-development. Hodson, who has been featured on the Black List three times, is set to pen the screenplay for Warner Bros. recently announced The Fugitive reboot. She also wrote the film Shut In, which just wrapped production with Naomi Watts in the Lead. Beer has a number of projects in various stages of development, most notably a re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz for Warner Bros., as well as a R-rated comedy How to Nail an Alien at Atlas. She’s also writing a family adventure film called Dig for Disney and contributed to the Short Circuit remake for The Weinstein Company.
Given the history of the Transformers franchise’ treatment of female characters (read: model hot damsels-in-distress), I’m not expecting anything revolutionary to come out of the addition of two fledgling female screenwriters, but I’m glad they’re in the room. Maybe they can chime in every once and a while, “Hey guys, we have this female character, do you think she should maybe, you know, do something?” There’s no question that Hollywood action needs more female voices, and while I doubt we’ll see any major shift in the Transformers model, this could be a platform to launch the careers of two promising female filmmakers.