‘Transformers’ Franchise Gets a Revamp With Two Separate Films in the Works

Justin Kroll

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Paramount Pictures is looking to revamp its “Transformers” franchise in a big way, as sources tell Variety two simultaneous scripts are now in active development: one by James Vanderbilt and one by Joby Harold.

Paramount’s most recent take on the franchise was 2018’s “Bumblebee,” a coming-of-age tale that was produced on a smaller budget than other “Transformers” films. That different approach went over well with both critics and audiences, grossing $465 million worldwide and opening up a new opportunity to continue the franchise, with the studio now expanding the “Transformers” universe with the development of two scripts.

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Details behind both scripts are still vague, but sources say they present an opportunity build out multiple storylines within the franchise.

No directors have been attached to either script and it’s also likely that both projects will feature brand-new casts.

“Transformers” has been one of Paramount’s biggest draws since the franchise was launched in 2007, grossing more than $4 billion worldwide over the course of five films. Following the release of 2017’s “Transformers: The Last Knight,” director Michael Bay parted ways with the series to focus on new original material. After that, the studio decided to do a full revamp of the property, starting with a writers’ room that would develop multiple ways to pursue a new film, leading to “Bumblebee.”

The studio still views “Transformers” as a top priority, with hopes to attach directors to each script as soon as possible.

Vanderbilt has been busy jumping back and forth from writing and producing duties over the past few years, most recently penning and producing the Netflix comedy “Murder Mystery” as well as producing the Fox Searchlight horror pic “Ready or Not.” Harold has had similar duties, most recently exec producing “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum” while also penning Zack Snyder’s “Army of the Dead.”

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