Transformers might be “robots in disguise” to the average person, but to the consumer, there ain’t no disguising the avalanche of robotic projects coming our way. Falling in with the likes of Marvel, DC, and the Star Wars franchise, the folks behind Transformers are creating a “shared universe,” and it sounds like pretty much anything contained within the canon of the Autobots and Decepticons is fair game. Are you ready for a Bumblebee solo film? How about a story of robotic lives and love set on pre-war Cybertron? Can you handle the heart-palpitating excitement of a story focused on Cosmos (you remember Cosmos from the original cartoon series, right – the robot alien who decided to come to Earth inconspicuously disguised as… a UFO)?
In all fairness, it does seem like Paramount is trying to do the Transformers “shared universe” the right way. They have brought in some heavy hitters in the story-writing arena, and not just one or two names – they’ve got enough bodies to fill an entire Metroplex (you remember Metroplex from the original cartoon series, right – the robot that turned into… an entire damn city? How the Hell is he going to hide on Earth?)! Here’s a list of the confirmed hires (and their likely biggest claims to fame in parentheses), in no particular order:
–Akiva Goldsman (Oscar & Academy Award winner for A Beautiful Mind)
–Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2)
–Robert Kirman (creator of The Walking Dead)
–Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down)
–Art Marcum & Matt Halloway (the first Iron Man film)
–Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (the new Ant-Man movie)
–Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
–Lindsay Beer (upcoming Short Circuit remake)
–Christina Hodson (upcoming Fugitive remake)
Oh, and for good measure, the writers will be overseen by a “brain trust” consisting of Goldsman and a few other low-level lackeys: namely, Michael Bay, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Steven Spielberg. Y’know, interns and stuff. Here’s what Goldsman had to say about the Big Group O’Creative Types:
“We’ve got a work space that is beautifully production designed to be immersive with a strong sense of the franchise history. We will look at the toys, the TV shows, the merchandise, everything that has been generated by Hasbro, from popular to forgotten iterations, and establish a mythological time line. It has been designed with a lot of visual help, toys, robots, sketches and writers and artists. After that super saturation, the writers will figure out not one, but numerous films that will extend the universe. If one of the writers discovers an affinity for ‘Beast Wars,’ they can drive forward on treatments that will have been fleshed out by the whole room.”
If that last line about Beast Wars is true – well, that just makes me happier than a pre-launch Omega Supreme (you remember Omega Supreme from the original cartoon series, right – the robot that transformed into a rocket…on a launchpad… attached to a 100-meter rail track with a tank on it that just went in a big circle…)?
Transformers 5, the currently-slated next installment in the “shared universe,” is slated to assault your eyes sometime in 2017.