Paramount is beginning to reveal details about its ambitious plans to, ahem, transform its mega-grossing Transformers franchise into an expansive cinematic universe comprised not only of direct sequels to Transformers: Age of Extinction but all manner of prequels, sidequels and spinoffs as well. Speaking at the Global Consumer Conference 2015, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner announced plans to push forward with stand-alone movies involving one Autobot that audiences have already grown attached to in the main series.
Referencing Paramount’s blossoming relationship with a writer’s room comprised of some of Hollywood’s most prolific scribes, Goldner stated that one current plan is to build a movie around Bumblebee, the yellow Autobot who communicates exclusively through audio clips via his car radio. The alien became best friends with Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) in the first three movies and continued to forge strong bonds with humans in Age of Extinction, protecting the Yeager family from powerful enemies.
“Many of you know Bumblebee; the yellow Camaro… formally known as a yellow VW Bug and he is a beloved character by kids all over the world… We could see stories told around Bumblebee and other characters. We are in a process of building the brand equity around the Comic Book Business, our TV Business, our Digital Gaming Business and adding to that our new movie business of Transformers.”
Just yesterday, we brought you news that Paramount and Michael Bay were eyeing a potential prequel film (possibly animated) that would chart the Transformers’ lives on Cybertron, but a spinoff focusing on the adventures of Bumblebee seems like a much easier sell, especially given that the Autobot is considered the franchise’s second most popular character (right behind Optimus Prime).
It’s unclear which writers would be working on a Bumblebee spinoff, but the current brain trust, headed up by Akiva Goldsman, includes Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2, The Incredible Hulk), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), duo Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man) and Ant-Man scribes Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari.
Transformers 5 is expected in 2017.