After suffering a half-billion dollar drop at the box office between Michael Bay’s fourth and fifth entries in the franchise, before seeing Bumblebee become the lowest-grossing installment yet immediately after, Paramount decided to hit pause on the Transformers series and go back to the drawing board, despite hiring a dozen writers in 2015 to map out plans for the proposed cinematic universe.
There are still multiple projects in development that will focus on the long-running war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, but they might look a lot different to what we’re used to. A Beast Wars adaptation is in the works with The Amazing Spider-Man and White House Down writer James Vanderbilt recently hired to pen the script, while King Arthur: Legends of the Sword’s Joby Harold was recently tasked with expanding the world of Bumblebee. Although his involvement with the delayed Obi-Wan Kenobi series could see that one put on the back-burner for a while.
Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley was also recently announced to be tackling a Transformers movie, which is set to take place entirely on Cybertron, leading to speculation that it may end up taking a few cues from the 1986 fan favorite animation. And while details are still scarce on what we may see there, we have heard a little bit more about the live-action reboot today, including that it’ll feature the death of a major character.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us Transformers was being rebooted months before it was announced, and that Extraction is getting a sequel, which we now know to be true – Optimus Prime and Megatron will battle to the death much like they did in the original animation, and while the latter is poised to be reborn as Galvatron, Optimus unfortunately won’t survive. This will then lead to Hot Rod assuming command of the Autobots in the reboot, and he’ll ultimately become Rodimus Prime as he seeks to turn the tide of the war.
What else might transpire in the film is still unclear, but if the upcoming Transformers reboot can avoid the pitfalls that characterized Michael Bay’s time at the helm, and mimic Bumblebee’s ability to lean into fan service and nostalgia without sacrificing the story being told, then the franchise could well be set for a major comeback over the next few years.