Yesterday, Transformers fans had reason to celebrate. Variety reported that Paramount has two new films in the franchise in development: one a spinoff set in the Bumblebee universe and the other a full reboot of the series. Given that Bumblebee was warmly received, a spinoff/continuation isn’t particularly surprising. Nor, for that matter, is a reboot, as We Got This Covered was the first outlet to report that Paramount were actively working on it back in December.
Now, Deadline is bringing us a few more details about each of the projects. The Bumblebee spinoff is being written by Army of the Dead‘s Joby Harold, while the reboot is being worked on by Murder Mystery writer James Vanderbilt. Even better, Vanderbilt’s reboot project will bring one of the most beloved takes on Transformers to the big screen: Beast Wars.
Beast Wars was an early computer-animated show that aired three seasons between 1996 and 1999. It was set in the distant past of the franchise, with the Autobots and Decepticons then known as Maximals and Predacons. The show is fondly remembered by fans, and despite some very clunky early 3D animation, the strong writing still holds up.
This announcement that Beast Wars is going ahead will come as a welcome surprise to fans, as producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura poured cold water on the idea in 2017. When asked whether it could be the future of the movie franchise, he said:
“I’m probably not the one to be asking that question to because I don’t get Beast Wars, but you know, thankfully I’m not the only vote on it. I’ve never quite understood, they kind of feel like incompatible to me, you have animals, robots, we’re used to cars.”
One thing that will prove interesting is whether human characters will appear. The original cartoon takes place long before humanity evolved, with ape-like ‘Protohumans’ taking their place. Transformers movies have always leaned heavily into the relationship between robots and humans, so discarding them completely and focusing on the Maximals and Predacons would be an interesting twist for the franchise.
In any case, it’s early days for both these projects yet, but we’ll bring you more on this as and when we hear it.