Michael Bay’s tenure as the architect of the Transformers franchise may have ended with a huge drop in box office returns and the worst reviews yet for a series that was never the subject of much critical acclaim to begin with, but as one of Paramount’s most valuable properties, there was no chance that the Autobots and Decepticons would be allowed to sit on the shelf for too long.
In fact, despite abandoning their initial plans that saw them hire a dozen writers to map out the future for their new cinematic universe, the studio still have multiple Transformers projects in the works. A follow-up of some sort to Bumblebee is being planned, a live-action adaptation of Beast Wars is currently in the early stages of development with The Amazing Spider-Man writer James Vanderbilt, and a feature-length animation was recently announced with Toy Story 4’s Josh Cooley at the helm.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a live-action reboot in the works that will erase all of Bay’s movies from canon and spearhead the re-branded Transformers, and we’ve now heard that Lady Bird star Lucas Hedges is being eyed for the lead role of Spike Witwicky.
As you may remember, Shia LaBeouf played the similarly-named Sam Witwicky in the original trilogy, but his character was modeled on Spike, who’s been a part of Transformers lore since the very first episode of the animated series aired in 1984. According to our sources – the same ones who told us Extraction is getting a sequel and Karen Gillan is being eyed for Pirates of the Caribbean 6, both of which were confirmed this week – Paramount are using Witwicky as their main character to make it clear to audiences and fans that the movie will be a full-blown reboot of the series, and not a continuation of Michael Bay’s films.
Of course, Hedges has recently established himself as one of the fastest-rising young talents in the business, with Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations already under his belt at the age of just 23, and making the jump into blockbuster territory would only continue his ascendancy. Ironically, he also played a fictionalized version of LaBeouf in the latter’s biographical drama Honey Boy, and could now end up mirroring his career if he ends up signing on to headline a Transformers movie.