What You Need to Know About 'Transformers 5' and Its Animated Spinoff

What You Need to Know About 'Transformers 5' and Its Animated Spinoff

Sep 18, 2015

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Incredible as it may sound, the four installments in the Transformers movie series have earned more than $3.7 billion at the box office worldwide. Last year's Transformers: Age of Extinction may have made "only" $254 million in the U.S., but its earnings in the rest of the world exceeded $858 million, so there's no doubt that a fifth installment will be on its way from Paramount Pictures as soon as possible.

In Hollywood, however, there is no such thing as "too much money," so Paramount decided earlier this year to form a so-called "writers' room" to dream up new sequels and spinoffs for the Transformers cinematic universe. The idea of a "writers' room" originated in the television industry, where producers hire a group of writers to work out how the storylines will play out over the course of a season. Then the writers work individually -- or sometimes in teams of two -- to come up with the individual episodes, which are often rewritten by other members of the "writers' room." It's said to be ideal for creative collaboration. 

Veteran writer/producer Akiva Goldsman was placed in charge of the writers' room for Transformers, and he tapped 10 writers to spend a couple of weeks together recently to 'hatch ideas together' and then flesh the ideas out into treatments, which are basically very detailed outlines. After that, the writers pitched to a small group, including Steven Spielberg, who serves as a producer on the films, and Michael Bay, who has directed the first four films. What were the results, according to Deadline?


Transformers 5 will be written by Akiva Goldsman.

That's not much of a surprise, in view of Goldsman's experience with other franchise properties (Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, The Da Vinci Code, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Rings). He's also an experienced producer, which is quite helpful for big-budget projects. And, of course, he was placed in the charge of the writers' room, so it makes sense that Paramount would want him to write the screenplay for the next sequel.


An animated spinoff is on its way.

Andrew Barrerr and Gabriel Ferrari, who worked on the Ant-Man script last year (though they did not receive any official credit) will pen a script for an animated orgin story that will revolve around Cybertron, the home planet of the Transformers. This was first rumored in May, and should strike a nostalgic chord for the many fans of the 1980s animated TV version.


What about other sequels and spinoffs?

Reportedly, Steven Spielberg "felt there were potential movies in five of the nine" pitches and treatments that were considered. Right now, Transformers 5 is the top priority, with the animated spinoff next in line, to be followed by a script to be written by Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and then another one to be written by Lindsey Beer, who has sold several feature scripts so far, though none have been produced yet.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

What about Michael Bay?

Though the original report by Deadline indicated that Michael Bay would be directing the fifth installment, Bay clarified via social media that it's not official but he's been discussing it with Spielberg.

If Bay decides to step aside from the franchise, as he's talked about before, the series will definitely continue without him. Will it be the same without him? Check out our suggestions for replacement directors.


When might we see Transformers 5?

Production could start by June 2016, which means we won't see any more installments until 2017 -- probably in the summer, as with the first four movies -- at the earliest.

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