Last month it was revealed that Paramount Pictures is setting up a 'writers room' to be headed by acclaimed screenplay writer and producer Akiva Goldsman, which will develop a new Transformers multi-part sequel and spinoffs alongside franchise director Michael Bay. While it hasn't been confirmed, its expected that Michael Bay will return to direct Transformers 5. It was initially believed that the movie would be in theaters by 2016, but that seems to be changing. Brian Goldner, President and CEO of Hasbro, announced today that they are targeting a 2017 release date for the next sequel.

Speaking from the first Hasbro quarter earnings call for 2015, Goldner reiterated that Paramount is in fact in the process of setting up a writer's room. The company has a strategic plan to take the franchise into the future. And this will include touching on some of the pre-existing mythology that has never been brought to the big screen. The CEO explains:

"Our plan right now with the studio and filmmakers, you may have read something about some writers being hired...We have, in fact, brought in a team to lead a group of writers to really create a strategic plan around Transformers. We think there's any number of stories to be told. It's a brand that's been around for 30 years with amazing Cannon and mythology. We would expect the sequel to transformer movie to happen in 2017."

Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura are making up the other members of the development team, with writer Akiva Goldsman leading the "writer's room". The I Am Legend screenwriter won't write any of the sequels or spinoffs himself. Instead, he will provide insight and support to the writers who are hired. It is believed that Transformers 5 will be Michael Bay's next project after he completes shooting on the Benghazi drama 13 Hours. It is also believed that Transformers: Age of Extinction star Mark Wahlberg will return, as he is signed for a number of sequels. The previous report claimed that the next film would set up a new multi-part story, so it's not yet known how directly related the plot will be to what happened in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Nor is it known what specific angle the spinoffs will take.

B. Alan Orange