Transformers: Age of Extinction was supposed to right the wrongs of the blockbuster franchise, with Michael Bay promising something different. He claimed it would be a better movie. That didn't quite turn out as planned. While Transformers 4 has it's moments, it is the lowest earning movie in the series, and the lowest rated as well. People hated this latest installment, even though it was meant to be a reboot with all new characters, a new setting, and a smaller, more intimate band of Autobots. Heck, it even introduced the Dinobots. But that did little to shake fans out of their explosion-induced coma. These monstrous metal beasts came in too late in a movie that was already over stuffed with insanity. So, with Transformers: The Last Knight, Paramount is going to try once again to make something that is awesome, amazing, and everything we'd want in a Transformers movie. They even set up a writers' room to accommodate the impending adventure, not unlike you'd see on any popular TV show.

What came from this was the confirmation of several more movies, with the first beinging titled Transformers: The Last Knight. While Academy award winning writer Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner were first in charge of procurring the screenplay, the final script is coming from Iron Man writers Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, with Black Hawk Down writer Ken Nolan also contributing. The sequel will shoot throughout the summer of 2016 with things kicking off in Cuba. Though, no official story details have been shared yet. While we know precious little about how this movie will resurrect and begin to set the ship right, there is a lot that we already know. And it is likely that a great deal of this next adventure will take place in space, and help set up the impending spinoffs.

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The Franchise Legacy

Transformers 5 Franchise

Transformers is an anomaly as a franchise. The movies keep getting bigger, and the reviews keep getting worse. It was a downhill slide from the first movie released in 2007, which was greeted well by fans. But not so much by critics. It was a fun ride full of typical Michael Bay action and explosions, meant to set up a new trilogy. It had the iconic transforming robots out in full force. And it was hard to imagine how Paramount would ever top it in a sequel. The film earned a decent $319 million in the states, with a global haul of $709.7 million, making it the third highest grossing movie of that year. The next installment breezed through cinemaplexes like a tsunami, giving audiences everything but the kitchen sink. It was one of the most bonkers kids movies ever released, complete with jive talking robots and hot girls in cutoff shorts and tank-tops. It was literally a non-stop roller coaster ride plucked out of an amusement park from Hell. But fans were less than thrilled. And critics tore it apart. That didn't stop Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen from becoming the second highest grossing movie of 2009, just behind Avatar. It did better than it's predessessor, pulling in a domestic total of $402.1 million, and a worldwide gross of $836.3 million. Because it pulled in truckloads of money, there was no question that this would expand past three films as originally planned.

Where and When to See the First Transformers 5 Trailer

Transformers 5 Trailer

A video came from the official Transformers Twitter account stating that worldwide debut of the first Transformers 5 trailer would be unveiled on December 16, 2016, with the release of Star Wars: Rogue One. Director Michael Bay had this to from the set of the film:

"I want to tell you, because I've been reading you comments, the teaser is coming. December 16th on Star Wars. So look forward to it."

A Fresh Beginning

Transformers 5 New Beginings

Then came Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Michael Bay tried to pull back on the excess, but that left a somewhat deflated movie. No one on screen looked like they wanted to be there. And Megan Fox wasn't, replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley after comparing Michael Bay to Hitler. The movie was, dare we say, a tad on the boring side? That didn't stop it from becoming one of the biggest earners of 2011. It couldn't top Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but it did pull in a respectable $352 million to become the second highest grossing movie of that year, just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2. Even so, it was time for a change and everyone knew it. Michael Bay threatened he wasn't coming back. And maybe that would have been for the better. Transformers: Age of Extinction, which arrived three years later, earned far less than the original, the lowest earning film up until that point. But what went wrong? And will Paramount be able to set a course correction for the next installment. Well, here's what we know so far.

Michael Bay

Transformers 5 Director Michael Bay

It seems like since the first movie, Michael Bay has been threatening not to return. Though, it's unclear who those threats are aimed against. While director Michael Bay is great at what he does, and has an undeniable style that is all his own, many fans are deeply yearning to see what another filmmaker might be able to do with this property. That is definitely going to happen. But not soon. It has been confirmed that the man will be back to helm The Last Knight, even though Michael Bay himself previously said he was done. Which means we may just get more of the same. The only saving grace is that Paramount has pulled together an epic ensemble of writers who are not only working to create a shared universe, but also a storyline for Transformers 5 that will play directly into that. Though, even with a better script, there is no getting around the fact that Transformers 5 is going to look, sound and feel a whole lot like Parts 1-4 if Michael Bay directs. Just look at Pain & Gain, Bad Boys II or Pearl Harbor. One quick glance, and you know the same madman is responsible for all of them. Before setting off on T5 in the summer of 2016, Bay shot the well-recieved if not commercially successful 13 Hours, his true-life Benghazi movie about six members of a security team who fought to defend the American diplomatic compound after an attack of Islamist militants. It certainly appeared to be a palate cleanser. And may make for a refreshed artist ready to perform at the top of his game. Of course, the same thing was thought about the Coen Brothers inspired 'indie' Pain & Gain before he moved into Transformers: Age of Extinction. That just made for a weirder movie. Will 13 Hours cause Michael Bay to be more war cautious? We could get a film that takes its explosions and deaths a little more seriously. We know the movie will still have a war element, since he is confirmed to be bringing back Josh Duhamel's Lennox and may also bring back Tyrese Gibson as Epps. And it's said that this time out, Bay will be pulling some of his inspiration directly from the Star Wars movies.

Optimus Prime

Transformers 5 Optimus Prime

If you're a fan of The Goldbergs, you know Optimus Prime died in the 1986 big screen animated release Transformers: The Movie. For a lot of fans, he never truly lived after that. It's hard to keep track of the character's full backstory, or know what is cannon. The live-action movie series plays fast and loose with his history. And a lot of fans, who've seen the sequels a great number of times, likely can't describe or explain everything the Autobots leader has been through. He's been badly damaged, killed, brought back to life, fused with the dead body of Jetfire, and impaled. He even tamed the Dinobots and rode them into battle. Transformers: Dark of the Moon sees him walking off into the sunset with BumbleeBee. When next we see him, in Transformers: Age of Extinction, he is a rusted out husk of a Semi that is revived by new hero Cade Yeager. The movie is basically a three hour prologue for Transformers 5, and sets up the main story arc. What is Transformers 5 going to be about? Optimus is going on a joinery to meet The Creators, a race of aliens who wiped out most of life on Earth over Sixty-five million years ago. He wants to return The Seed to them, a device that, when detonated, transforms all living things into Transformium. Optimus is looking to have it out with the Creators. And this will actually work in helping set up the many spinoffs that are planned. Will the Creators show up right away? Or will the movie follow Optimus' journey to find them, with the big Creators battle saved for the climactic third act?

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Transformers 5 King Arthur

This new story will feature the iconic medieval characters King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and Merlin (Santiago Cabrera). While no plot details have been confirmed, it is believed that Transformers: The Last Knight will follow Optimus Prime as he returns to Earth in search of an artifact, which has ties to King Arthur and Merlin.

Winston Churchill and Nazis

Transformers 5 Winston Churchill and Nazis

Director Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight found itself embroiled in a bit of controversy when set photos surfaced revealing the production had used the birthplace of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as the site of a Nazi headquarters facility for this upcoming movie. Blenheim Palace, the historic birthplace of Winston Churchill, was seen drapped in large Nazi banners, while actors were seen wearing Nazi SS uniforms and other World War II vehicles were spotted near the location. British army veterans spoke out, claiming it was "disrespectful" to Winston Churchill, while others claimed he would be "turning in his grave." There will also be a scene with Autobot Hot Rod speeding up to the Queen's estate at Buckingham Palace. How Winson Churchill and the Nazis play into the plot has not yet been revealed.

BumbleBee

Transformers 5 Bumblebee

If BumbleBee were a Star Wars character, he'd be R2-D2, down to the fact that he doesn't talk. Unless he is tuning in Art Laboe on his state of the art sound system, using soul music and the occasional rap song to convey his true feelings. So it's odd that Paramount wants to make a full-length spinoff with the character at the forefront of the action. Can you imagine a standalone R2-D2 movie? We can't either. But the fact that Paramount is thinking this way, has us seriously questioning the friendly yellow giant's place in Transformers 5. Optimus left BumbleBee and the other surviving Autobots with Cade Yeager and his family, to protect them from any threat that may come their way. Mark Wahlberg has already confirmed that he is returning. So BumbleBee will surely be around for a cameo. But a great deal of the action may take place in space, where Optimus Prime is bound to meet any number of strange aline lifeforms to help in his battle against The Creators. With BumbleBee getting his own movie in 2018, it's possible that he will get very little screen time in Transformers 5.

Cade Yeager

Transformers 5 Cade Yeager

With Transformers: Age of Extinction meant to be a reboot of the franchise, Mark Wahlberg's Cade Yeager stepped in for Shia LaBeouf's Sam Witwicky as the main human protagonist. And if you thought Marky Mark's turn as a science teacher in The Happening was hilarious, you haven't seen anything until you've seen him play an actual scientist/inventor complete with thick Boston accent. It's priceless! Mark Wahlberg is full-on committed to a 'couple more' films, as he puts it. This means not all of Transformers 5 will take place in space with Optimus Prime. And as we suspect, Optimus' journey will likely all take place during the prologue, with the heavy action returning to earth, where the human inventor will help his new friends defeat a bigger threat than what we saw in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Mark Wahlberg is actually great at balancing the humor and action in a movie like this, and he was a welcome fresh breath of air in exchange for Shia LaBeouf, who, lets face it, grew stale by the third act of the first movie. We're not sure what kind of arc is planned for Cade Yeager. The script is still being written. But we can pretty much guarantee that Nicola Peltz will be back as his daughter, and there will most likely be another family crisis they have to deal with amongst the explosions and falling debris. We also suspect that Cade will be getting a love interest this time around. May we suggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 star Alessandra Ambrosio? Right now, Mark Wahlberg's return has not been officially confirmed by Paramount.

DinoBots

Transformers 5 Dinobots

You want more proof that finding the Creators in space will probably be a very small part of Transformers 5? Look no further than the Dinobots. Fans waited through three sequels to see these favorite characters lead by Grimlock, and they only show up during the second half of the climactic finale. Sure, it's roughly twenty minutes of pure Dinobots action...But trust us, everyone wanted more! And Transformers 5 promises to give us a lot more. With Grimlock and his cohorts landlocked with Cade Yeager and his family, they will probably get well acquainted, and we can guarantee at least one scene that features Mark Wahlberg riding a giant metal dinosaur. That's pretty much what these movies are all about. And if that idea doesn't get you excited, then you don't need to be watching Transformers 5, anyway. Though, with at least 12 spinoff movies being pitched inside the Transformers Writers' Room, it's quite possible that Grimlock and his pals may get their own movie. If that happens, it will probably be as interesting as BumbleBee getting his own movie, as this is another group of characters who don't speak. If a Dinobots movie is in the works, expect their screen time to be as limited, if not more so, in this impending sequel as it was in Part 4.

Beast Wars

Transformers 5 Beast Wars

Akiva Goldsman, who is head of the Transformers Writers' Room, has teased that a /transformers-beast-wars-movie-12-spinoffs-pitched/Beast Wars standalone spinoff movie is possible. And this would make a lot of sense, with Optimus Prime flying deep into space to find The Creators. The Maximals (good guys) and Predacons (bad guys) are descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons. They live in space, and are obsessed with finding Energon, the preferred fuel of the Transformers. It's quite possible that Prime could discover them on his journey, and bring them into his fight against The Creators. He could also be responsible for bringing these animal Transformers back to Earth. It has, in no way, been confirmed that the Beast Wars charters will be utilized in any fashion, but it is definitely on the minds of the current creative brain trust behind this franchise. With a number of movies planned, we might not see the Maximals and Predacons in Transformers 5, but I wouldn't bet against it, either. The thought is out there. If fans make it known they want to see these characters, they will be heard.

Ultra Magnus and The Quintessons

Transformers 5 Ultra Magnus

There is a rumor circulating that Transformers 5 will introduce Optimus Prime's second-in-command from the comics, with Ultra Magnus set to make an appearance in the 2017 film. It will be revealed that Magnus has his fair share of history with the franchises two biggest villains, Megatron and Galvatron. Part of this storyline will be connected to the arrival of The Quintessons, the ones who created the Transformers in the first place. Are the Quintessons who Optimus Prime will be searching for throughout the movie? This ancient alien race has a dark and shady past, and might fit right in with the proposed plot set up at the end of Transformers: Age of Extinction. While fans would certainly welcome the addition of these favorites characters, nothing is set in stone yet. Even if they don't show up in Transformers 5, it's possible that Ultra Magnus or The The Quintessons will appear in one of the other spinoffs or crossovers being planned.

Transformers 5 Sets Up a Shared Universe

Transformers 5 Shared Universe

One thing is for certain. There will be a lot more Transformers movies. Transformers 5 isn't just the second chapter in a new trilogy, it is also a second reboot of sorts. Though, it will have a lot of the same characters and continue the story set up in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Paramount has installed a massive brain trust lead by Akiva Goldsman that consists of Daredevil's Steven S. DeKnight along with Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beer, Ken Nolan and Geneva Robertson-Dorsett. They will each pitch their own movie idea. But their priority is to lock down and write the perfect story for Transformers 5 first, insuring that it's something Michael Bay wants to direct. While we don't know what any of the movies will be just yet, whatever they are, the seeds will be planted in Transformers 5. The movie could possibly wind up with a lot of loose ends that will all be tied up in different movies. Will that make for a worthwhile and rewarding experience? We'll have to wait and see. So far, Paramount has confirmed Transformers 5, 6 and 7 are coming over the course of the next decade, with Bumblebee getting his own spinoff movie between chapters 5 and 6. There will also be an anomated prequel about the birth of Cybertron.

Cybertron

Transformers 5 Cybertron

We've talked a lot about spinoffs and crossovers in this new Transformers shared universe. And the first prequel that is planned revolves around Cybertron. The movie is reportedly called Transformers One, and takes place on the Autobots and Decepticons' home planet. We've seen Cybertron in the movies here and there. In the 2007 original, the Allspark, which brings life to all the metal beings on this steampunk planet, is destroy when used to kill Megatron, rendering the restoration of Cybertron impossible. Optimus talks of Cybertron in the first sequel, but it is unclear if anyone still resides there. In the third movie, Sentinel Prime attempts to use his space bridge to transport Cybertron next to Earth while simultaneously conquering Earth to use humans as slaves to rebuild it. But in the end, it appears to be destroyed. The planet is never mentioned in Transformers: Age of Extinction, with the film hinting that Cybertron is completely gone. But is it? Or will Optimus discover the remnants of the planet on his way to find the Creators. It seems unlikely that Cyberton will make a cameo in Transformers 5. It doesn't appear as though Transformers One will be tied to this next sequel at all, except for providing the back story to all the action that has occurred in the franchise leading up to this point. While audiences will be transported to Cybertron sometime in the future, it probably won't be in 2017.

The Return of Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf

Transformers 5Megan Fox Shia LaBeouf

As we mentioned, Megan Fox was booted off Transformers: Dark of the Moon after comparing Michael Bay to Hitler, something producer Steven Spielberg, director of Schindler's List, wasn't fond of. But as you probably know, Megan Fox and Michael Bay have made up, and she now stars in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series as iconic comic book and cartoon character April O'Neil. It is rumored that Mikaela Banes will return in Transformers 5, and heck, maybe she'll even be the new love interest of Cade Yeager. As for Shia LaBeouf, who has gone off the rails in the press lately, that is another story. Fans grew tired of his schtick long before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came out, and many were happy to see him finally go after Transformers: Dark of the Moon. While a cameo for Transformers: Age of Extinction was teased, he obviously didn't make it back, and no one missed him. While there is no word yet on whether he will return, no one seems to be hoping for it. Still, it could happen. Cade falls in love with Mikaela, Sam shows up, and a good old fashion love triangle is born. In his most recent statements, Shia LaBeouf has stated that he doesn't think it's possible for his character to return. Instead, he wants to collaborate with director Michael Bay on a completely different kind of project.

The Return of Lennox and Epps

Transformers 5 Lennox and Epps

It has been confirmed that original Transformers star Josh Duhamel will return as Lieutenant Colonel Lennox for this fifth chapter in the series. The actor was introduced as Lieutenant Colonel Lennox in 2007's Transformers, and later returned in 2009's Revenge of the Fallen and 2011's Dark of the Moon, all directed by Michael Bay. Duhamel didn't show up in 2014's Age of Extinction. Transformers 5 will pair Josh Duhamel and Mark Wahlberg on screen for the first time. William "Wild Bill" Lennox is a member of the United States Army Rangers. Now a seasoned officer, Lennox has the friendship and trust of the men under his command. He also has a wife and a daughter back home. Most importantly, he has earned the full trust of Autobots leader Optimus Prime. This latest sequel has Prime searching through the cosmos for the Quintessons, the beings believed to be responsible for the creation of the Transformers race. Meanwhile back at home, Wahlberg's Cade Yeager will be facing a new alien threat that brings Lennox back into duty. While it hasn't been confirmed, it is also believed that Tyrese Gibson will return as Epps. And its obvious that there will be a reunion aspect to the movie as well as a military aspect, which may bring back even more previouse characters from the past sequels. Mudflap and Skids, Anyone?

New Cast Members

Transformers 5 Isabela Moner

Isabela Moner recently boarded the sequel as the female lead. She is best known for such indie movies as 100 Things to Do Before High School and Growing Up Fisher. The movie also landed Jerrod Carmichael from NBC's The Carmichael Show as the comedic relief this time out. Shooting will take place in Detroit, with various on-location shoots planned to take place throughout the world.

G.I. Joe/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Crossover

G.I. Joe Transformers 5 Crossover

The idea of a crossover between G.I. Joe and Transformers has long been a dream of many fans. It happened in the comics. So why not in the movies? With Hasbro owning both properties, both housed at Paramount, it is not out of the realm of possibility. And G.I. Joe producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has said that it definitely could happen. But probably not for awhile. Even with how popular crossovers and shared universe are nowadays. Transformers has had a strong military component since movie one, so it's sound logic that the two franchises will meet and flourish together. But we don't see that happening in Transformers 5 or G.I. Joe 3. The same goes for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Though both Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are produced by Michael Bay, how long before both properties meet? Not long, it seems. BumbleBee actually has a cameo of sorts in next summer's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Though, it's just a guy in a costume during a street parade. It may be as close as we ever get.

The Release Date

Transformers 5 Release Date

When is Transformers 5 going to hit theaters? It was originally supposed to arrive June 24, 2016, according to Paramount Pictures International SVP Edward Ryan. But those plans later changed, according to Hasbro President Brian Goldner. He assured us that the sequel will hit theaters in summer 2017. Which made more sense. Finally, towards the end of 2015, Paramount and Hasbro solidified their plans for the entire franchise. They announced that June 23, 2017 was the official release date for The Last Knight. It will be followed by Bumblebee nearly a year later, on June 8, 2018. And then we will get Transformers 6 in June, 2019. So you can see, there truly is a lot of Transforemrs goodness heading our way over the course of the next couple of years.

There you have it, that is all we know about Transformers 5. And then some. Be sure to check back with us often, as we will update you with any new information. Until then, happy dreams of Cybertron and Dinobots. Maybe Michael Bay can finally make a movie that fanboys and critics all love!

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange