Michael Bay Reflects On The Ways In Which Paramount’s Writers Room Whipped The Last Knight Into Shape


Paramount isn’t the first – nor is it likely to be the last – studio to establish a writers room to nurture a film franchise, but it’s surely one of the biggest.

We are, after all, referring to a studio that consistently hits the billion-dollar mark with its Transformers films, and one that will be hoping to uphold tradition – and perhaps even set a new record in the process – when Transformers: The Last Knight descends into theaters this June. Like it or lump it, The Last Knight is undoubtedly one of the biggest movies currently lining 2017’s summer slate, and Paramount is already beginning to stoke the embers of excitement ahead of Sunday’s grand trailer reveal at Super Bowl LI.

It marks something of a new chapter for the lucrative juggernaut, thanks in large part to that aforementioned writers room. Beyond The Last Knight, Paramount has drafted up early plans for a number of spinoffs – spinoffs that may well take place in different historical eras – not to mention character-driven solo movies centering on the franchise’s more iconic heroes, such as Bumblebee.

For Michael Bay, Transformers: The Last Knight is both a final chapter and a new beginning and here, the filmmaker reflects on the ways in which Paramount’s writers room helped mould the blockbuster into shape early on in development.

“I’ve been living in this franchise for over 10 years now. For Transformers: The Last Knight, we put together a writers’ room designed to greatly expand our mythology, integrating our films in a whole new way. Every movie will interlink.

It was a huge task to expand mythology from the beginning of the world throughout history. We had a great team of writers: Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind); Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man); Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down); Zak Penn (Ready Player One); Lindsey Beer (Barbie); Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider); Christina Hodson (Bumblebee); Steven DeKnight (Daredevil, Smallville); Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Lost); and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man).

Through the summer of 2015, they worked in a huge space on the Paramount lot, surrounded by over 10,000 concept images from the franchise’s history: the movies, cartoons, and comic books. They had a life-size Bumblebee, a Megatron head, and many other props staring them down. We pulled from everything. It was a fan’s dream room.

We brought in Transformers historians from Hasbro to educate them on where Transformers has been – so that they could figure out where it can go. I can safely say that there’s never been a Transformers film with the huge visual scope and expansive mythology as this movie, The Last Knight.

It’s bittersweet for me. With every Transformers film, I’ve said it would be my last. I see the 120 million fans around the world who see these movies, the huge theme park lines to the ride and the amazing Make- A-Wish kids that visit my sets, and it somehow keeps drawing me back. I love doing these movies. This film was especially fun to shoot. But, this time might really be it. So I’m blowing this one out.

It’s a final chapter and a new beginning. Here’s the writers’ log line: “The hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.”

Transformers: The Last Knight will be with us on June 23rd. In order to ensure excitement remains at a fever-pitch, a new, full-length trailer is set to premiere during Sunday’s Super Bowl LI, and we’ll have full coverage for you right here on WGTC.

Source: Michael Bay