As a child of the 1990’s, I missed out experiencing on a lot of great things from the 1980’s firsthand such as John Hughes movies, the debut of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Live Aid. One thing from the 1980’s that I did experience as a kid that has stuck with me to adulthood is the fabled robots in disguise: The Transformers. I remember being seven years old and wanting to go to Blockbuster almost every other week since they were the only place in town to rent Generation One Transformers videos. My love of the characters and the mythology really blossomed when Beast Wars came out in the late 90’s and since then, I’ve grown to be a huge fan of the franchise. When they announced Steven Spielberg would be involved in bringing the war between the Autobots and Decepticons to the big screen, I was beyond thrilled! Then the movie came out, and reality began to set in that these were not the robots I was looking for.
I saw the first Transformers back in 2007 on opening night and loved every minute of it. To this day, it is still the best of the movies and holds up fairly well. It tells the story of a boy and his car and has an almost Amblin Entertainment feel to it. I loved the references to the original Generation One animated series and bringing Peter Cullen back as Optimus Prime was a genius move by the creative team. It had it’s fair share of Michael Bay problems, ranging from the usual terrible dialogue to poor character development but it was still entertaining and had tons of movie magic that proved Spielberg was an influence. Then the sequels started rolling out in 2009, and they have only gone downhill in terms of quality since then. Acknowledging that these don’t NEED to follow the history to the letter, it is still disappointing that we have yet to see a proper Transformers movie.
The writers/producers bringing you the next Transformers movies; me looking like Harry Potter’s sis near the middle. pic.twitter.com/VTZ67sNey6
— Lindsey Beer (@hstweetheart) June 24, 2015
Hopefully, thanks to recent news, that may soon change and we can partially thank Marvel for that. After last year’s Age of Extinction, Paramount Pictures has assembled a creative writing trust to create a cinematic universe for the Transformers that can be told over the course of multiple films. This writing trust is led by Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend, A Beautiful Mind) and includes Steven DeKnight (Spartacus, Daredevil), Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead and Invincible), Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Jeff Pinkner (Fringe, Lost), Zak Penn (X-men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk), Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), Geneva Robertson-Dworetrepeat, Christna Hodson (The Black List) and Lindsey Beer, a Stanford science major who has written sci-fi and fantasy specs.
In an article from Comingsoon.net, Goldsman said “The whole process of the story room was really delightful and we are seeing it more in movies as this moves toward serialized storytelling.” Going on to mention the writing rooms for Marvel and Star Wars, Goldsman said “We’re trying to beg, borrow and steal from the best of them, and gathered a group of folks interested in developing and broadening this franchise.” Some possible movies that are being considered are rumored to include a prequel set on the Transformers homeworld Cybertron, a movie focusing on Bumblebee and (the one that has me most excited) Beast Wars. More than likely, we will see another one or two movies in the main series to follow up Age of Extinction, but I feel pretty confident about this group that Paramount brought together.
I am going to be cautiously optimistic and hope that Paramount and these writers are going to move forward drawing on the best aspects of the Transformers mythology to bring us something incredible and that one day, maybe a few years down the line, that we will see a reboot of the main series that brings it closer to the original stories. That seems like a really big stretch, but it is possible that as a creative decision that they would want to make sure everything moving forward gels together cohesively. Given that the movies are hugely successful, I doubt that from happening, but one can dream.
It is a little silly that every studio in Hollywood is trying to give us cinematic universes, but I feel Goldsman is right in that movies are moving towards serialized storytelling in a way that is reminiscent of the old 1930’s movie serials. If one franchise can justify this approach, it’s the Transformers. If you look at the history of the brand since the 1980’s, there have been so many variations and approaches to these characters over the past thirty years and the writers have so much to pull from. It is unknown what directions we will see, but this fan is hoping for more Transformers getting the limelight and less of the annoying human characters or, better yet, give us well written and interesting humans. One thing that the first Transformers and Age of Extinction did really well was give us Autobots that were interesting and distinct from one another. That is something I hope to see going forward. Another thing that these writers could borrow from Marvel, especially since a few have worked on movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is that we’ll see stories and characters closer to the source material. Either way…PLEASE give us a Bumblebee that doesn’t need his radio to talk.
Featured Image: Cinemablend
Article Images: Lindsey Beer's Twitter account, IGN