We seem to hear this after every installment of Transformers, but this summer’s Age of Extinction may have actually been Michael Bay’s last in the director’s chair. While promoting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, which he produced, Bay told USA Today that he’s interested in “flexing new muscles.” With a documentary on elephant poaching potentially on his docket, the filmmaker says, “there’s kind of a new chapter, a new direction in movies I want to make.”
Now that he has four Transformers under his belt, making him one of the few directors to stick with a franchise for so long, and given that he’s a very busy man and these movies require a lot of work and attention, we can’t blame him for wanting to step aside. Presumably he’d still be involved in some capacity, maybe staying on as an executive producer alongside Steven Spielberg and the others.
If that’s the case, I can guess that the person Bay passes the series baton to will be someone whom he and Spielberg have worked with before. There’s D.J. Caruso, for one, or maybe regular Transformers screenwriter Ehren Kruger is ready to hop into the director’s seat. Sticking to just Bay’s picks, he could reward Jonathan Liebesman for his success with TMNT this past weekend with a promotion to an even bigger piece of ‘80s nostalgia.
But if I had my way, here are three prime choices to helm at least Transformers 5, if not more installments after that, as well:
Brad Bird – He’s pretty much my pick to direct any blockbuster, especially after he proved himself with live action on Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol. Also, that movie obviously showed that he’s not against jumping into a series that’s well into its sequels. Bird has worked with enormous robots before, on the animated feature The Iron Giant. Now he just has to make them turn into cars and things. Maybe he could even get Vin Diesel to voice one of the Autobots.
Kerry Conran – Another guy who has worked with large robots, Conran needs his next big shot in Hollywood already. It’s been a decade since his ambitious feature debut, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, failed at the box office. He hasn’t done another full-length movie since. There’s little reason for Paramount (which released Sky Captain) to trust him with a Transformers movie save for the fact that he’s imaginative and it’d be hard for anyone to make a Transformers movie flop.
Rupert Wyatt – The man who surprised us with a visual masterpiece of a reboot in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he could do the same with Transformers. The Apes brand had been tarnished with a movie starring Mark Wahlberg prior to Wyatt’s success, so maybe he’d also need to swap out the newly introduced Wahlberg from the Transformers series, too. Then again, Wyatt is currently working with the actor on The Gambler, and maybe they’ll prove to be a good pair once that’s released.
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