Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction was meant to be the start of a newtrilogy. Gone were Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, replaced by Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor. And with Bay behind the "wheel" of this massive sequel, the fourth Transformers movie did what previous Transformers movies have done: disappointed critics while earning boatloads of money.
Despite the fact that the formula continues to work, Paramount has promised sweeping changes for the Transformers franchise by the time Transformers 5 rolls into theaters. For starters, it’s no longer called Transformers 5. It now goes byTransformers: The Last Knight. So, that happened. Since massive pieces already are moving into place on the upcoming sequel, we figured now was a great time to get the lay of the land and catch you up on everything we know about the ongoing cinematic battle between the Autobots, the Decepticons, and mankind.
When Will Transformers 5 Come Out?
Paramount has given Transformers: The Last Knight a release date of June 23, 2017. This means that the massive robot sequel will bleed into the July 4 holiday, where Michael Bay’s movies tend to shine. It also means that, by coming out on that weekend, Transformers has the time frame all to themselves… for now. Something could always shift. At the moment, Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens on June 16, and Despicable Me 3 hits on June 30.
What Will Transformers 5 Be Rated?
It’s a little too early to tell, as Michael Bay hasn’t started filming a stitch of footage. However, seeing as how Bay’s previous four Transformers movies have all been PG-13, dating back to 2007, I don’t expect the director, or the studio, to aim for anything different. Bay likes pushing the envelope with these Transformers movies, despite the fact that they are based on a toy line (which produced an animated series). He’ll never go R with a Transformers movie, but I also think we’ll need a new director in the chair before the series softens for a PG rating (if that ever happens).
Michael Bay Is Directing Transformers 5
Love him or hate him, Michael Bay has been the face of the Transformers franchise, the driving creative force since Paramount unveiled the inspired-by-toys franchise in 2007. And while early indicators once suggested that the director would move awayfrom the massive robot series with the next movie, he actually allowed himself to bepulled back into the fold for one more Transformers story. He even did it with the most Michael Bay quote ever, telling Rolling Stone, "I’m doing Transformers… 5 is it?" Yeah, Mike. It’s the fifth one. Hopefully he puts a little more thought and effort into the story on this one, and not just the explosions.
Mark Wahlberg Will Return For Transformers 5
Pain & Gain, Michael Bay’s collaboration with Mark Wahlberg, actually led to theHappening actor taking a lead role in Transformers: Age of Extinction. But we were uncertain whether or not Wahlberg and his character, Cade Yeager, would stay with the franchise. A while back, Wahlberg explained to the media that he didn’t view Age of Extinction as a sequel, and that he "thought of it more as a stand-alone thing. I’ve never done a sequel." Which is true. But then he did a second Ted movie. And then Bay lured Wahlberg back for another Transformers film. So I guess Wahlberg does sequels now. We expect Cade Yeager to be a major player in the new storyline forTransformers: The Last Knight. But he’s not going to be the lead. Bay’s bringing in someone new.
Isabela Moner Has Joined The Series
Knowing that he needed some fresh blood (seeing as how Megan Fox has moved on to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise), Michael Bay has started populatingTransformers: The Last Knight with human co-stars who are able to run and scream alongside Mark Wahlberg. Up first? Isabela Moner, a 14-year-old actress whose credits are limited to Nickelodeon. When The Wrap broke the news of her casting, they described her as:
So that’s how she’ll be made part of the human side of the equation. Yes, yes. We know that fans show up for these movies to see the Autobots and the Decepticons. But for now, you get Wahlberg and Moner, and a handful of familiar faces who Bay has convinced to return.
Josh Duhamel is a dependable actor with a decent number of credits to his resume, though none, arguably, were ever as big as Transformers. The actor appeared in the original trilogy of Transformers films, then sat out Age of Extinction, which was Paramount’s attempt at spinning off in a new direction… sort of. Well, worlds are about to collide, as Duhamel and Bay both confirmed recently that his character, Lennox, would be returning for Transformers: The Last Knight -- though we don’t yet know in what capacity. The Autobots clearly know who Lennox is, though he’ll be a new ally to Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager. It will be nice to have a familiar face like Duhamel around when the explosions and the screaming begin.
Josh Duhamel isn’t the only one knocking on Michael Bay’s door, looking for a gig. Tyrese Gibson, who played Epps in the first three Transformers movies but also sat on the sideline during Transformers: Age of Extinction, did what Tyrese likes to do when there’s a part that he wants to nab. He took to social media and recorded an original video message to Michael Bay stating "I’m ready!" Tyrese said that acting in the movies is "a high," saying he loves "all of the magic shit" that comes with acting alongside massive robots. Bay has been egging Tyrese along in the comments of the actors Instagram page, so I have a feeling he has a part in Transformers: The Last Knight. We’re just waiting for it all to become official.
With a release date in their sites, Paramount has started the process of gettingTransformers: The Last Knight into production, and that begins with a screenwriter. For this, they have tapped Ehren Kruger to once again manage the ongoing adventures of the Autobots and Decepticons (according to IMDB). In a recent interview with Collider, Kruger admitted that the team works on one story at a time, but they always "certainly (are) laying the building blocks for some other stories we have in the back of our heads." (More on that concept in a moment.) To that, he added, "I have a Transformers 5 [story] in my head. Whether that will be what Transformers 5 is, or I will work on it, who knows at this point?" That comment was followed by explanations about how Michael Bay, in the creative process, often changes – drastically – what the screenwriter pitches. Kruger says that his idea for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was "a totally different story" than the one that ended up on the screen. But the writers’ strike contributed to that change up. Kruger’s not alone this time out, though. Read on to see how Paramount approached Transformers with a Writer’s Room mentality, which spells exciting things for the franchise’s future.
The Transformers Writers’ Room
There’s a reason that we are remaining optimistic about Transformers: The Last Knight and potential Transformers movies that may come down the pipeline… even though we know that the previous four Transformers movies were underwhelming. Way back in July 2015, Paramount put together a television-inspired Writers Room for the Transformers franchise, and recruited some top names in long-form storytelling to come together and pitch ideas for the creative future of the series. Steven S. DeKnight, the brains behind Netflix’s Daredevil series and Spartacus, was one of the voices in that room. And when he reflected on the creative experience, DeKnight told Collider:
"You know, it’s that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to plan things out, and it was a wonderful experience. … It was phenomenal. We laughed, and joked, and told stories and plotted out — I can’t say what we plotted out, but it was all very exciting. In the next few months we’ll see what moves forward and what doesn’t move forward. It was a fantastic experience"
This, I believe, is exactly what the Transformers movies needed – an infusion of fresh blood and new ideas that could help bring the film franchise more in line with what the animated series and the comic books offered to fans. Transformers: The Last Knightwill be the first movie born of the Writers Room experiment, and if it works, we might actually be excited about the future of this massive-screen movie franchise.
Because the future plotline of Transformers: The Last Knight is unknown at the moment, rumors have been circulating about what could happen… and what fans might really want to happen. One particular rumor that generated real heat recently was the idea that Megan Fox might return to the franchise as Mikaela Banes, arm candy to Shia LaBeouf’s Sam. Now, keep in mind that Megan Fox left theTransformers series after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And she had a public blowout with Michael Bay at the time, referring to him as Hitler in the press. It’s hard to come back from that. However, fans hoping for a reunion point out that Bay hired Foxto play April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which he produced. The two appear to be on friendly working terms, and with Bay once again directingTransformers: The Last Knight, there’s a SLIM chance Fox could stray back. Why would she? Well, because her movie career hasn’t exactly taken off after leaving theTransformers series. The rumors suggest that Paramount would like a familiar face from the franchise to help sell Transformers: The Last Knight to fans (in addition to role players like Duhamel and Gibson). And have you seen Shia LaBeouf lately? He ain’t walking through that Transformers door any time soon. Fox might be a fun addition to this sequel. We’ll continue to wait and see.
A G.I. Joe Crossover Movie
The other prevailing rumor swirling around in the heads of Transformers: The Last Knight fans is that Paramount might want to boost both of its toy-based action franchise by combining them together in a Transformers / G.I. Joe mash-up movie at some point down the line. Can you imagine Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Bruce Willis going toe-to-toe with Optimus Prime? That’s the stuff of legend. But in an interview with Total Film, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura went so far as to call it a "possibility" before throwing cold water on the hopes of fans. "I don't think [it’s] in the near future at all," he explained. "It's not something we talk about either. There's a lot more story to be told in both cases. And I think if at some moment we think, ‘You know what? It's time to bring the two of them together,’ we'll do that. But I think they're strong enough to exist on their own." So this team up isn’t likely for Transformers: The Last Knight, but maybe a few years down the road? Hold out hope.