As a jam-packed writer’s room plots out future sequels, spinoffs and prequels for its Transformers franchise, Paramount is clearly committed to many more big screen outings with the ultra-destructive Autobots. But one key question in the series’ future has been whether Michael Bay, who directed the first four installments including last year’s Age of Extinction, will ever return to the director’s chair. Now, star Mark Wahlberg has weighed in on whether we can expect to see Bay take the reins for Transformers 5.
Speaking with Collider to promote Ted 2, Wahlberg, who is signed on to reprise his Age of Extinction role in future entries, stated that work on the fifth film is preliminary at the moment. All he knows is that:
Just that Akiva [Goldsman] and those guys are starting to write and break stories, and stuff like that. But [Michael] Bay is in Malta shooting Benghazi, and I’m in New Orleans shooting Deepwater. We’ll get together when he gets back.
When asked if he thinks Bay will ultimately direct Transformers 5, Wahlberg responded with a firm “yes.”
Bay has stated in the past that Transformers: Age of Extinction would be his last outing as a director on the mega-grossing franchise, and he’s said nothing since to indicate that he’s considering changing his mind. As such, it’s surprising that Wahlberg is so confident Bay will be back, but he of course has a little inside knowledge into how talks between the director and studio are progressing.
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It’s worth noting that Bay will definitely be involved as an executive producer on the fifth Transformers, so whether he directs may depend on what he thinks of the first script generated by Akiva Goldsman’s writer’s room. That brain trust features some heavy hitters and relative newcomers, including Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (whose script Hibernation was featured on the Black List), Christina Hodson (Shut In), newcomer Lindsey Beer (an upcoming Wizard of Oz reimagining), Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk), and Jeff Pinkner (Lost). It’s a crowded group but one with a lot of Hollywood hitmakers.
Ideas already swirling include a Cybertron-set prequel and a Bumblee spinoff, but neither of those is Transformers 5, which the writer’s room hopes to have ready for Bay to direct by the time he comes off shooting 13 Hours (the “Benghazi” pic Wahlberg referred to above). Of course, with the director lining up sci-fi Time Salvager as well, Paramount may need to wait a little while if Bay is to come back behind the camera, so the writer’s room could have a little more time than currently planned to conceptualize Transformers 5.