Transformers Spinoffs Will More Than Meet the Ire of Expanded Universe Haters

By  · Published on March 27th, 2015

Paramount Pictures

Don’t tell me you’re surprised. Every franchise is becoming an expanded universe now, and of course Transformers is finally hopping on board the band wagon. Deadline reports that Paramount is aiming for more, more, more. And not bothering to ask how do you like it. The studio is looking to Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning writer of Batman & Robin and Angels & Demons (neither of which got him the award) to come up with ideas for Transformers sequels and spinoffs. The sequels will be of the multi-part cliffhanger sort, obviously. There’s not much better to hope for, you know, a series of blockbusters based solely around toys and explosions.

Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura are all still involved with the franchise, and Bay is still set to direct Transformers 5 (which is probably the two-parter) as long as it’s ready when he’s done making the Benghazi drama 13 Hours. That next installment has a release date of June 24, 2016, and that seems awfully soon if there’s no script written yet. But perhaps if they move quick enough and have something in place for Bay to pick up all ready to go he can at least do part of a movie to be released sometime next year and then deliver a conclusion at a later time. Goldsman, meanwhile, is not expected to be the writer of any of the movies, just possibly serve as a Kevin Feige-type master planner.

What could the spinoffs entail? A Dinobots movie? A prequel set on Cybertron? For me, a solo origin story of T.J. Miller’s character from Transformers: Age of Extinction, who deserved more screen time? Many are of course wondering if there’ll be room for a G.I. Joe crossover, as has been done before in the comics. I think there will be, and not just because last year di Bonaventura told Total Film it’s a possibility, albeit not one anyone had been talking about for the near future. As for crossovers with other Hasbro-based properties, I’d be down with Transformers Meet Battleship, but only if Bay and Peter Berg co-direct for their own battle of the flag-waving filmmakers. Too bad those properties are not at the same studio.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.