Friday, February 16, 2018

Transformers 6 Dropped From Schedule For A "Reset"

Today Hasbro provided a little peak into their future plans for the Transformers movie franchise. This weekend is the start of Toy Fair 2018 in New York and the toy company hosted their Investor Preview Day that shows off their upcoming plans for their various toy properties (such as getting hold of the Power Rangers license) and of course Transformers. Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said "We’re actively developing live action and animated films, and have dated several under this new agreement. We’re excited about this year’s Transformers: Bumblebee, as we work with the new Paramount team to reset the future direction of Transformers. We’ll be partially financing the production of these films, and Bumblebee is the first under the new agreement."

In the long term what that means was not revealed but in the short term it means that Transformers 6 is no longer in the works for what was going to be a 2019 release. In the short term Hasbro is planning a China exclusive animated series in 2019 called "Nesha and the Transformers" while western countries will get "Transformers: Cyberverse" cartoon and toy line that will likely replace the "Transformer: Generations" line that was represented by the Prime Trilogy of toys.

On to the speculating. I am going to go ahead and take "reset" to essentially mean "reboot." In short, the "Bay-verse" will end with Bumblebee: The Movie. The Transformers Writers Room of scripts have probably been trash canned too since they were mostly devised with the Bay-verse in mind. While not saying it, likely the next Transformers movie will not come until 2021 at the earliest to provide breathing room for that "reset" in consumer minds. Any new movies will likely ignore the Bay-verse. For reference, see the various Spider-Man reboots. When the deal between Hasbro and Paramount was renewed, it apparently gave the toy company greater control and say over the movies but since we have not yet seen a movie with Hasbro in greater control of the creative process, we have little to go on for what the result will look like in movie form. All we really have is the various cartoons and IDW comic books from the last decade or so to go by. Those results vary wildly depending on franchise and target audience but the Transformers cartoons over the last few years have hit the "all ages" note fairly well.

As for the IDW comics, those have been outstanding but recently Hasbro went from absent minded oversight to heavy oversight which resulted in the merging of all their various properties (GI Joe, Micronauts, MASK, Transformers, etc) in a shared comic book universe. My perspective is this led to dramatic drop in quality of Transformers and G.I. Joe stories and a homogenization of stories and character personalities. This does not include stories involving the crew of the Lost Light which continues to provide a creative blue print on how to do TF personalities and universe building. If the movie release schedule (pic above) and the IDW comics are an indication of future plans then the Hasbro Cinematic Universe remains the likely future of the Transformers franchise. Overall I suspect that a "reset" means a return to more traditional all ages Transformers stories with simplified designs and transformations (so easier to replicate in toys).

If I magically had a conversation with the Hasbro executives that will be steering the future of the Transformers movies, my advice would come in two parts. First I would urge them to give a good long look at IDW comic books stories as a source of inspiration (say All Hail Megatron and any Lost Light story) and pay particular attention to the effort to give many Transformers, both G1 favorites and new creations, distinct personalities and quirks that could easily fuel multiple movies. In some cases the personalities gel so well (again see stories involving the Lost Light) that you could do an entire movie without any actions scenes just on the way they bounce off of each other.

My second piece of advice is find your Kevin Feige. Part of what is driving the success of Marvel's Cinematic Universe is ultimately only one person really has to approve things. Its not a board room of executives, all driven to add their stamp on the movie so can later claim credit for success or worse avoid blame for failure by pointing out they were just one voice of many in the room. Find someone who is a genuine long term fan of your properties but has the movie and story telling experience (notice I do not mention toy company experience) that truly has the decision making power and only reports to Brian Goldner. If that person still has to go to a roomful of executives to get all decisions about the movie approved, then stll have the problem of too many cooks in the kitchen.

If want to see what happens when ignore this just look at the trash fire that is Warner Bros' DC Cinematic Universe or Universal's Dark Universe. You can tell that almost all the major decisions of those movies were decided by a roomful of executives, resulting in approving what seemed to be the safest and blandest of choices that all those egos could agree on. That is not a room that would have ever green lit Iron Man, about C-list comic book hero that few had heard of, directed by a comedy star with no proven action movie directing skill, and led by an ex-druggie has-been actor. You want the person that would have supported such a plan and not a roomful of executives who would have said no as soon as the words "movie about Iron Man" was spoken.

All this is the long form of saying - Transformers 6 is cancelled, no movie is planned until 2021 at the earliest and I hope Hasbro uses their existing examples both within and without when they design the future of the Transformers movies.


  1. Transformers news ever!!!!!!

  2. No! I wanted tf6!

  3. Yes reboot piss on bay,last 2 films sucked!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I read on Sunday night that now there might not be a reboot??!!
    It was on Movieweb's site.

  5. Yay.. bay did good so let's see if someone can do better.. reboot..why not.. they do everything and every other movie is a remake or a dud anyway. TF fan for life..rather all like or some like, I'll like


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