Welcome to the Transformers Movie Wiki
Welcome to Transformers Movie Wiki, a wiki covering Michael Bay's Transformers film series.
Transformers is a series of American science fiction action films based on the toys and media franchise of the same name developed in the 1980s by Hasbro and Takara. Michael Bay has directed the first five films: Transformers (2007), Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Dark of the Moon(2011), Age of Extinction (2014) and The Last Knight (2017). A spin-off entitled Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight and produced by Michael Bay, is scheduled for December 21, 2018. The series has been distributed by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks.
The live-action film series has received mixed-to-negative reception, with criticism of the plots, sophomoric humor, overuse of product placements and the runtimes of the films, but praise of the visual effects, action sequences and music. It is the 13th-highest-grossing film series, with a total of $4.3 billion; two films in the series have individually grossed over $1 billion.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director||Screenwriter(s)||Story by||Producer(s)|
|Transformers||July 3, 2007||Michael Bay||Roberto Orci &Alex Kurtzman||John Rogers, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman||Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce|
|Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||June 24, 2009||Ehren Kruger and Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman|
|Transformers: Dark of the Moon||June 29, 2011||Ehren Kruger|
|Transformers: Age of Extinction||June 27, 2014|
|Transformers: The Last Knight||June 21, 2017||Art Marcum & Matt Holloway & Ken Nolan||Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway & Ken Nolan|
|Bumblebee||December 21, 2018||Travis Knight||Christina Hodson and Kelly Fremon Craig||Christina Hodson||Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay|
Main article: Transformers (film)
Steven Spielberg, a fan of the comics and toys, signed on as executive producer in 2004. John Rogers wrote the first draft, which pitted four Autobots against four Decepticons, and featured the Ark spaceship. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, fans of the cartoon, were hired to rewrite the script in February 2005. Spielberg suggested that "a boy and his car" should be the focus. This appealed to Orci and Kurtzman because it conveyed themes of adulthood and responsibility, "the things that a car represents in the United States". The characters of Sam and Mikaela were the sole point of view given in Orci and Kurtzman's first draft. The Transformers had no dialogue, as the producers feared talking robots would look ridiculous. The writers felt that even if it would look silly, not having the robots speak would betray the fanbase. The first draft also had a battle scene in the Grand Canyon. Spielberg read each of Orci and Kurtzman's drafts and gave notes for improvement. The writers remained involved throughout production, adding additional dialogue for the robots during the sound mixing (although none of this was kept in the final film, which ran fifteen minutes shorter than the initial edit). Furman's The Ultimate Guide, published by Dorling Kindersley, remained as a resource to the writers throughout production. Prime Directive was used as a fake working title. This was also the name of Dreamwave Productions' first Transformers comic book.
Michael Bay was asked to direct by Spielberg on July 30, 2005, but he dismissed the film as a "stupid toy movie". Nonetheless, he wanted to work with Spielberg, and gained a new respect for the mythology upon visiting Hasbro. Bay considered the first draft "too kiddie", so he increased the military's role in the story. The writers sought inspiration from G.I. Joe for the soldier characters, being careful not to mix the brands. Because Orci and Kurtzman were concerned the film could feel like a military recruitment commercial, they chose to make the military believe nations like Iran were behind the Decepticon attack as well as making the Decepticons primarily military vehicles. Bay based Lennox's struggle to get to the Pentagon phone line while struggling with an unhelpful operator from a real account he was given by a soldier when working on another film.
Orci and Kurtzman experimented with numerous robots from the franchise, ultimately selecting the characters most popular among the filmmakers to form the final cast. Bay acknowledged that most of the Decepticons were selected before their names or roles were developed, as Hasbro had to start designing the toys. Some of their names were changed because Bay was upset that they had been leaked. Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee and Starscream were the only characters present in each version of the script. Arcee was a female Transformer introduced by Orci and Kurtzman, but she was cut because they found it difficult to explain robotic gender; Bay also disliked her motorcycle form, which he found too small. An early idea to have the Decepticons simultaneously strike multiple places around the world was also dropped, being used later in the film's sequels.
Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Main article: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
In September 2007, Paramount announced a late June 2009 release date for the sequel to Transformers. A major hurdle that was overcome during the film's production was the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, as well as possible strikes by the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. Bay began creating animatics of action sequences featuring characters rejected for the 2007 film; this would allow animators to complete sequences if the Directors Guild of America went on strike in July 2008, which ultimately did not happen. The director considered making a small project in between Transformers and its sequel, but knew "you have your baby and you don't want someone else to take it". The film was given a $200 million budget, which was $50 million more than the 2007 film, and some of the action scenes rejected for the original were written into the sequel, such as the way Optimus is reintroduced in this film. Lorenzo di Bonaventura said the studio proposed filming two sequels simultaneously, but he and Bay concurred that was not the right direction for the series.
Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman originally passed on the sequel because of a busy schedule. The studio began courting other writers in May 2007, but as they were unimpressed with their pitches, they convinced Orci and Kurtzman to return. The studio also signed on Ehren Kruger, as he impressed Bay and Hasbro president Brian Goldner with his knowledge of the Transformers mythology, and because he was friends with Orci and Kurtzman. The writing trio were paid $8 million. Screenwriting was interrupted by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, but to avoid production delays the writers spent two weeks writing a treatment, which they handed in the night before the strike began, and Bay expanded the outline into a sixty-page scriptment, fleshing out the action, adding more jokes, as well as selecting the majority of new characters. The three writers spent four months finishing the screenplay while "locked" in two hotel rooms by Bay: Kruger wrote in his own room and the trio would check on each other's work twice a day.
Orci described the film's theme as "being away from home", with the Autobots contemplating living on Earth as they cannot restore Cybertron, while Sam goes to college. He wanted the focus between the robots and humans "much more evenly balanced", "the stakes [to] be higher", and the science fiction elements more prominent. Lorenzo di Bonaventura said that in total, there are around forty robots in the film, whileILM's Scott Farrar has said there are actually sixty. Orci added that he wanted to "modulate" the humor more, and felt he managed the more "outrageous" jokes by balancing them with a more serious plot approach to the Transformers' mythology. Bay concurred that he wanted to please fans by making the tone darker, and that "moms will think its safe enough to bring the kids back out to the movies" despite his trademark sense of humor.
Before Transformers was released, producer DeSanto had "a very cool idea" to introduce the Dinobots, while Bay was interested in an aircraft carrier, which was dropped from the 2007 film. Orci claimed they did not incorporate these characters into Revenge of the Fallen because they could not think of a way to justify the Dinobots' choice of form, and were unable to fit in the aircraft carrier. Orci also admitted he was also dismissive of the Dinobots because he does not like dinosaurs. "I recognize I am weird in that department", he said, but he became fonder of them during filming because of their popularity with fans. He added "I couldn't see why a Transformer would feel the need to disguise himself in front of a bunch of lizards. Movie-wise, I mean. Once the general audience is fully on board with the whole thing, maybe Dinobots in the future."However, Michael Bay said he hated the Dinobots and they had never been in consideration for being featured in the movies. It is the last film in the series to be distributed by DreamWorks.
Dark of the Moon (2011)
Main article: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
For the third film, as a preemptive measure before the release of Revenge of the Fallen, Michael Lucchi and Paramount announced on March 16, 2009, that a third film would be released in IMAX 3D on July 1, 2011, which earned a surprised response from director Bay:
Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who had worked on the two previous Transformers films, declined to return for the third film, with Kurtzman declaring that "the franchise is so wonderful that it deserves to be fresh, all the time. We just felt like we’d given it a lot and didn’t have an insight for where to go with it next". Revenge of the Fallen's co-writer Ehren Kruger became the sole screenwriter for Dark of the Moon. Kruger had frequent meetings with Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) visual effects producers, who suggested plot points such as the scenes in Chernobyl.
On October 1, 2009, Bay revealed that Dark of the Moon had already gone into pre-production, and its planned release was back to its originally intended date of July 1, 2011, rather than 2012. Due to the revived interest in 3-D technology brought in by the success of Avatar, talks between Paramount, ILM, and Bay had considered the possibility of the next Transformers film being filmed in 3-D, and testing was performed to bring the technology into Bay's work. Bay originally was not much interested in the format as he felt it did not fit his "aggressive style" of filmmaking, but he was convinced after talks with Avatar director James Cameron, who even offered the technical crew from that film. Cameron reportedly told Bay about 3-D, "You gotta look at it as a toy, it's another fun tool to help get emotion and character and create an experience."Bay was reluctant to film with 3-D cameras since in test he found them to be too cumbersome for his filming style, but he did not want to implement the technology in post production either since he was not pleased with the results. In addition to using the 3-D Fusion camera rigs developed by Cameron's team, Bay and the team spent nine months developing a more portable 3-D camera that could be brought into location. On the day of the film's release, Shia LaBeouf announced that Dark of the Moon will be his last Transformers film.
In a hidden extra for the Blu-ray release of Revenge of the Fallen, Bay expressed his intention to make Transformers 3 not necessarily larger thanRevenge of the Fallen, but instead deeper into the mythology, to give it more character development, and to make it darker and more emotional.Unicron is briefly shown in a secret Transformers 3 preview feature in the Revenge of the Fallen Blu-ray Disc. Ultimately, the producers decided to forgo a plot involving the planet-eating Transformer, and no further comments were ever made on the subject. Having been called Transformers 3 up to that point, the film's final title was revealed to be Dark of the Moon in October 2010. After Revenge of the Fallen was almost universally panned by critics, Bay acknowledged the general flaws of the script, having blamed the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike prior to the film for many problems. Bay promised to not have the "dorky comedy" from the last film. On March 19, 2010, the script was said to be finished.
Age of Extinction (2014)
Main article: Transformers: Age of Extinction
In February 2012, producer di Bonaventura stated that a fourth film was in the works, aiming for a 2014 release, with Michael Bay to direct and produce. On the same day, Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay announced a June 27, 2014 release date for a fourth film. Ehren Krugerwould pen the script and Steve Jablonsky would score the film, as each had for the previous film. The film is set five years after the events inTransformers: Dark of the Moon. Shia LaBeouf did not return in any future installments. Mark Wahlberg was instead cast in the lead role. In November 2012, casting began to search for two more leads. Isabelle Cornish, Nicola Peltz, Gabriella Wilde and Margaret Qualleywere all considered to play the daughter of Mark Wahlberg's character, while Luke Grimes, Landon Liboiron, Brenton Thwaites, Jack Reynor andHunter Parrish were all considered to play the race-car-driving boyfriend. Bay announced on his website that Reynor would be the boyfriend and that the fourth film would start the next installment in the overall series; the film was to be a darker sequel to Dark of the Moon and have a different feeling. Peter Cullen, who voiced Optimus Prime in the films, was to reprise his role. Tyrese Gibson was in talks to reprise his role. Glenn Morshower stated that he was contracted for two films and he was to reprise his role, but it was later confirmed that Morshower would not be returning. With a budget of $165 million, filming was expected to take place in London between April and November 2013—once Pain & Gain, another film that Bay was directing, had finished editing.
On January 8, 2013, it was announced that Reynor was joining Wahlberg in the lead. On March 20, 2013, the film's plot read: "As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his crosshairs. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues." But this plot summary was later found to be inaccurate.[clarification needed]
On March 26, 2013, Nicola Peltz was cast as the female lead. Bay confirmed that the movie was to be in 3D. Bay revealed to Collider that actor Stanley Tucci had joined the cast, and that the film would be the first feature film to be shot using smaller digital IMAX 3D cameras. On May 1, 2013, actor Kelsey Grammer was cast as the lead human villain named "Harold Attinger". On May 6, 2013, actress Sophia Myles was cast in a major supporting role. That same month, Chinese actress Li Bingbing and comedian T. J. Miller joined the cast.
Actor T.J. Miller would be playing the best friend of Wahlberg's character who is a mechanic. Also revealed were two Autobots who would have the following alternate modes—a black-and-blue 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse named "Drift", and a green 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray concept named Crosshairs. A truck from Western Star Trucks would be Optimus Prime's new alternate mode for the movie. Bumblebee's new alternate mode was revealed to be a modified vintage 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which later transforms into a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro concept. A green military vehicle (later confirmed to be Hound) and a white emergency response vehicle were also revealed.
Filming began in June 2013, in Detroit, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.
The Last Knight (2017)
Main article: Transformers: The Last Knight
In March 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Paramount Pictures was in talks with Akiva Goldsman to pitch new ideas for the Transformersfranchise's future installments. The studio intends to do what James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have been doing in planning three Avatarsequels, and what Disney has done to revive Star Wars, with sequels and spin-offs. Paramount wants to have their own cinematic universe forTransformers, similar to Marvel's/Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe (which had been one of Paramount's previous film series), and DC Comics/Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe. Goldsman is the head of the future projects, and worked with franchise director Michael Bay, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura to organize a "writers' room" that incubates ideas for potentialTransformers sequels, prequels and spin-offs. The writers' room members include: Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beer, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, Zak Penn (Pacific Rim Uprising), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Ken Nolan, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Kirkman left the room after just one day to undergo throat surgery. In July 2015, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner were announced as the fifth Transformers film's screenwriters. However, on November 20, due to Goldsman's commitments creating a writers' room for G.I. Joe and Micronauts properties, Paramount began to negotiate with Art Marcum and Matt Holloway(Iron Man), as well as Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), to write the film. Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were also brought aboard for writing duties.
After Transformers: Age of Extinction, Bay had decided not to direct any future Transformers films. But in early January 2016, in an interview withRolling Stone, he stated that he would return to direct the fifth film, and that it will be his last Transformers film. Paramount Pictures spent $80 million on production in Michigan, in return for $21 million in state incentives, under agreements entered into before the state legislature eliminated the film office incentive program in July 2015. In April 2016, Paramount hired cinematographer Jonathan Sela. On May 17, Bay revealed the official title of the film to be The Last Knight on his Instagram account, where he also posted a production video showing a close-up of Optimus Prime's face with purple eyes instead of blue, and his face mostly discolored. The official Twitter account showed a 19-second short video in morse code that translates to "I'm coming for you May 31". On May 31, it was revealed that Megatron would return in the sequel.
Main article: Bumblebee (film)
Bumblebee is a spin-off film centered on the Transformers character of the same name. It was intended to be a prequel to the film series, and later declared to be a reboot of the franchise. Following the film's critical success, Hasbro intends to continue and evolve the franchise similar to Bumblebee.
The film was directed by Travis Knight and written by Christina Hodson, and stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon, with Dylan O'Brien as the voice of Bumblebee. The design and style of the film included both elements from the existing franchise as well as influences from Transformers: Generation 1 franchise of toys.
Principal photography on the film began in July 2017, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. It was released on December 21, 2018, to generally positive reviews.