Back in March, it was revealed that Paramount Pictures is taking a unique approach to their lucrative Transformers franchise, putting together a writers room that will come up with ideas for Transformers 5 and other future sequels and spinoffs. The writers room is lead by Akiva Goldsman and includes Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil), 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. While promoting the new season of Daredevil at the TCA press tour, Steven S. DeKnight revealed what it was like to work with these other writers, confirming that Transformers 5 will be written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner.
"It's that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to really try and plan things out. It was a wonderful experience. Akiva Goldsman was fantastic and Jeff Pinkner, who's co-writing the fifth [Transformers] movie with him was phenomenal. Zak Penn... It was just a room full of brilliant, funny, amazing people. And we spent two and a half weeks in physically the best writers room I've ever seen in my life. Paramount pulled out all the stops. It was phenomenal! We laughed and joked and told stories and plotted out."
Each of these writers was to develop a pitch for their own Transformers movie, but it isn't clear yet which project will move forward after Transformers 5. Michael Bay will return to direct, after he wraps up work on his Benghazi thriller 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which just released its first trailer earlier this week. Unfortunately, Steven S. DeKnight wouldn't divulge any specific plot details, but he did talk about the day that Steven Spielberg came by to watch them work.
"I can't say what we plotted out, but it was all very exciting and in the next few months we'll see what moves forward and what doesn't move forward. But it was a fantastic experience. One of the best experiences of that was when Steven Spielberg popped by one afternoon to just sit and talk and hear what we were working on. Everybody was about to throw up, they were so excited."
This "writers room" approach to movie franchises has become quite trendy. James Cameron put together a similar collective of writers for his Avatar sequel writers, and Universal is taking a similar approach with their Universal Monster Shared Universe franchise, which is being shepherded by Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. When asked how this approach may change things for future Transformers movies, Steven S. DeKnight had this to say.
"It remains to be seen. I think the biggest thing something like that does when you're dealing with a franchise that is so global and makes so much money is actually taking a moment to really think things out. Because a lot of the times, you go into production, you don't have a finished script or your script is still being worked on. And it's very difficult to work that way. I can't imagine... Especially with the second movie, when the writers strike happened and Michael Bay had to start prepping anyway, I can't imagine trying to prep a movie of that size and complexity and not having a locked script. And it happens all the time in movies. You just have to start because of people's availabilities. So my hats off to Paramount for trying something new in this way and really giving this writers room thing a spin. But for me, it was a fantastic experience. I loved it."