Okay, pop quiz. I want those of you that saw last year’s Transformers: The Last Knight to summarize the plot of the film as you remember it.
Off the top of my head, I recall Anthony Hopkins and his camp robot butler were after some kind of ancient Cybertron spaceship at the bottom of the ocean. Then the moon exploded and… uh, then they were at Stonehenge for some reason? I think King Arthur was involved in some capacity, too.
I’m not alone in my thinking, as even fans of the franchise generally concede that The Last Knight was an unholy mess, which might explain why audiences stayed away in droves. It’s also probably why Hasbro and Paramount are hitting the big red reboot button and clearing away the last decade of explosion-heavy robotic Bayhem in favour of a fresh start. Perhaps perversely, the ultra bombastic story will now see its final instalment in December’s Bumblebee, itself conceived as a lower budget, less planet-smash-y spinoff.
Clearly, the suits at Hasbro and Paramount saw the writing on the wall with the Bay Universe. While they’re still making money (especially in China), the returns have been diminishing with each film, not to mention that the plot has gotten insanely convoluted. Besides, it’s not as if the Transformers franchise is any stranger to a periodic ‘generational’ reset of the continuity to keep exploring the ever-expanding dramatic possibilities of alien robots that can turn into cars.
Word is that Hasbro will be taking a more central role in steering future films based on its properties, working with Paramount in order to create a shared Hasbro cinematic universe that could include franchises like Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts and My Little Pony (c’mon, give us a Bumblebee/Rainbow Dash buddy movie already).
So, as of right now, there are no Transformers films planned past December’s aforementioned spinoff, but we expect work on a blockbuster reboot of the franchise to get underway shortly. And as soon as we hear anything further, you’ll be the first to know.