The ‘Transformers‘ franchise is one of those franchises that perfectly epitomizes the term ‘popcorn entertainment’. There’s nothing like switching your brain off for a couple of hours and indulging in CGI explosions and loud actions. Those of us who are lucky, the Transformers were a big part of childhood days. Growing up, it became one of the most famous and sensational action-packed series ever. Obviously, who doesn’t love giant robot armies fighting each other over the Earth? For the same reason, Power Rangers also became iconic during our childhood. So when in 2007 Paramount decided to cash in on the huge popularity of the beloved Transformers series, fans everywhere in the world were visibly excited. The possibility of Optimus Prime and Megatron fighting on the big screen had got us excited. The studio already had a devoted fanbase and they just needed to deliver a faithful adaptation of the story on the big screen.
The ‘Transformers’ franchise is not known for solid critical reception as critics tend to be unimpressed with the lot. But there’s only so much critics can do in the face of high octane juggernaut as the whole series till date has minted over 4.8 billion dollars worldwide. For such a big franchise with high stakes, talks are always happening for future projects. So we will cover here everything about the next ‘Transformers’ movie. But since the story generally follows a linear timeline, we need to talk about the previous ones as well.
Transformers Over The Years
Paramount hired Michael Bay to direct the first movie in 2007 which was simply called ‘Transformers‘. Now Bay is someone who has achieved cult status as a director, but not in a good way. Some people love to hate his loud signature directorial style but no one can deny that despite what critics think, Bay’s style works like a charm in high action CGI blockbusters.
‘Transformers’ was a somewhat solid entry for the franchise that has rich characters and a complex universe. It tried to establish the basic tenets of Transformers, the eternal battle between the good Autobots and the bad Deceptions. In the search for AllSpark, Megatron reaches Earth in the 18th century and manages to make a map of its location before living the ‘Steve Rogers in Ice’ life. For centuries, Cybertrons or Autobots, masked as vehicles, protected the family that held the map. Young Sam Witwicky buys a car that turns out to be Bumblebee. Soon, he’s introduced to the centuries of secrets and the presence of Autobots and Decepticons. He meets other Autobots including the leader Optimus Prime as Deceptions surface. It had a lot of military parallels of the contemporary years and the movie was received well enough to warrant a decade-spanning franchise.
Bay continued to direct the ‘Transformers’ movies after these but critical receptions went from average to plain bad. In ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ (2009), we have Sam, played by Shia LaBeouf, who tries to get over the disturbing events of the first film by living his life as an adult. But he keeps seeing vague glyphs that makes him a person of interest for the Deceptions. Autobots try to protect him as his entire family and friends are in danger.
Contrary to popular belief, third time wasn’t the charm for Michael Bay’s Transformers. ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ (2011) continued the downward trend. But it charmed the box office as it went ahead to gross over 1.1 billion dollars. The movie tread almost the same ground as the previous two as the setting now involves the Moon. Following this one, the original cast withdrew but box office collection meant that we were up for more in the future. ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ (2014) brought new stars like Mark Wahlberg to the fore as the story moved into a new direction. The devastation of ‘Dark of the Moon’ has made the Transformers disbanded on Earth but few betrayals and need for survival bring the Autobots together again. The movie also managed to hit 1 billion mark as plots went from unbelievable to straight-up bonkers. Autobots fighting Robot dinosaurs, seriously?
Nonetheless, it’s hard to ignore the financial success these movies had, so another one was already in pipeline after ‘Age of Extinction’. ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ came out in 2017 and people finally ran out of patience. Another Michael Bay Transformers movie that stretched the plot too thin and also almost repeated previous tropes. The movie tanked badly — and for the first time, not only in front of critics but also in the box-office. Michael Bay’s myopic vision, wooden human characters, needless subplots, explosions as answers to everything and bloated overalls finally betrayed the franchise after one decade.
Transformers 7 Plot: What Can it be About?
The story of upcoming ‘Transformers 7’ or ‘Transformers: The Rise of the Unicorn’ should follow ‘The Last Knight’. It will be the seventh film in the series as a spin-off called ‘Bumblebee’ also came out in 2017. After the events of ‘The Last Knight’, Optimus Prime learns a fact or two about his origin and the state of Cybertron. Quintessa’s deception leads to the exposure of Unicorn – the mythical transformer whose horns came out of Earth in ‘The Last Knight’. Quintessa and Unicorn’s motives clash with each other as Earth will be amidst a giant intergalactic battle between two Titans. But the caveat lies elsewhere.
Truth is, China loves the Transformers movies. The rest of the world? Not so much. People lost interest after the initial attempts but all the movies did big business in China. The franchise’s over-reliance on China can be felt in the fact that a big chunk of ‘Age of Extinction’ was based in China to woo the local audience back there. For a franchise that solely relied upon commercial success and that too mainly on one market, one hiccup in the collection could spell trouble for it. The exact thing happened when ‘The Last Knight’ made less than the first movie. Its failure meant the franchise immediately needed a fresh direction, literally and in vision as well.
A spin-off named ‘Bumblebee’ on the fan favorite character came out in the same year. The prequel served a more grounded take on the franchise with nicely fleshed out lead characters. For a change, this Travis Knight (‘Kubo and the Two Strings’) directorial was well received by both the audience and the critics. Not so surprisingly, this was the first movie in the post-Michael Bay era. The success of this movie compelled the makers to think about a whole franchise reboot following the ‘Bumblebee’ template.
A Transformers Cinematic Universe was planned like MCU but the failure of ‘The Last Knight’ means that we will have different things altogether. The makers always wanted the G.I. Joes to cross path with the Transformers, so we may finally have some crossover films like that. There is also ‘Beast Wars’ planned which will focus on the planet Cybertron. Apart from this, ‘Bumblebee 2’ is in the making which can lay some stepping stone for the future of the series. A direct follow-up to ‘The Last Knight’ may not happen but the next ‘Transformers’ movie will feature elements of it. Our best bet is that Unicorn’s narrative will take center stage in the next one but temperamentally, it will be different than previous ones.
Transformers 7 Cast: Who Will Be In It?
The rumors about the next Transformers movie are all over the place. Paramount dropping ‘Transformers 7’ out of 2019’s release schedule meant no immediate plans have been made. The certainty regarding the movie is in shadows and so is the direction it will take. Amidst this, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint the cast. The voice actors of prominent Autobots and Decepticons will definitely make a return but if the story doesn’t follow the last film just like ‘Age of Extinction’, we can’t really come to a conclusion about the cast yet.
Transformers 7 Release Date: When Will it Premiere?
Paramount dropped the project from this year’s release schedule, so the reboot will take some time to come to fruition. Our best bet is late 2020 or early 2021 but the upcoming Transformers movie will definitely be related to the release date of ‘Bumblebee 2’. Until then, we can only hope that the series will take a turn for good so that our beloved characters get a movie they deserve.