Is Optimus Prime going to be the next Transformer to get his own solo movie? It certainly sounds like that's something on the table at Paramount, according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Much of that will depend on whether or not the upcoming Bumblebee movie is a success. The solo movie is set to arrive in theaters on December 21 and its success or failure will likely help determine the future direction of the multi-billion franchise.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura has been a core member of the creative team behind the Transformers movies since the first movie arrived in theaters in 2007. Michael Bay directed that movie, as well as its four sequels, but Transformers: The Last Knight proved that the robots in disguise may be running out of gas. So, it's time for a bit of reinvention. On the subject of a possible Optimus Prime solo movie, the producer had this to say.
"I'd certainly like to do that. It would be a very different kind of movie than a Bumblebee movie, but equally interesting and different."
Bumblebee, which comes from director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) and writer Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey), is the first in the franchise not to be helmed by Michael Bay and is going to be much smaller in scope, when compared to its predecessors. The first teaser trailer was recently released and has actually been received quite positively from those online. Though, this wasn't necessarily in response to the (relatively) poor performance of The Last Knight at the box office. As Lorenzo di Bonaventura tells it, this was in the works long before they knew that movie wasn't going to be what they hoped.
"If you don't change up, you're also taking a risk. It's one of those things where there is no simple answer. You're taking a risk no matter what you do when you make a big expensive movie, so why not change the formula completely and really hang in there?"
Paramount recently expanded the scope of their relationship with Hasbro and has launched a new banner, Allspark Pictures, in order to produce movies based on their products. Transformers will surely be a big part of that, but they also have a new G.I. Joe movie in development, in addition to Dungeons and Dragons, M.A.S.K. and new Power Rangers movies. The goal certainly seems to be to create a Hasbro cinematic universe of sorts.
To date, the Transformers movies have grossed a staggering $4.38 billion at the global box office. This, despite the fact that the majority of the movies have been panned by critics and, more recently, audiences have started to lose interest as well. Will Bumblebee be just what the doctor ordered and will that be the thing that leads to Optimus Prime getting his own movie? Time will tell. This news comes to us courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.