So far, the modern-day take on the Transformers has been a mixed bag critically, but, despite this, if you grew up watching the beloved cartoon you cannot help but get excited whenever a new movie in the franchise is announced. Well, this announcement may actually be worthy of that excitement, as Paramount Animation and Hasbro's eOne have tapped Toy Story 4 filmmaker Josh Cooley to direct a Transformers Animated Prequel, with Ant-Man and the Wasp screenwriters Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari being pegged to pen the script.

It is being reported that the project will explore the interstellar origins of the Autobots and the Decepticons on their home planet Cybertron, and will specifically revolve around the relationship between rival leaders Optimus Prime and Megatron. It is also worth noting that the reports also state that the movie will be "separate and apart" from the live-action movies that have graced the big screen thus far.

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So, while we will be reintroduced to earlier versions of some familiar transforming robots, they will not be the same transforming robots that eventually end up on Earth and befriend Shia LaBeouf's Sam Witwicky and Mark Wahlberg's (ludicrously named) Cade Yeager. With this in mind, we should no doubt expect a few changes in this animated take.

The report also mentions that creating this Transformers animated movie will be an easier task amidst the ongoing global situation, as those involved can get work done whilst still distancing from one another. This is, of course, a huge advantage over live-action productions which have all been shut down at this time. Due to this, Paramount has decided to accelerate the timetable on this animated Transformers movie, with Josh Cooley overseeing the script's final draft.

This animated visit to Cybertron has been on the cards for some time, with Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari working on the project since all the way back in 2015, several months after Akiva Goldsman formed a writer's room to pitch ideas on expanding the Transformers universe. Now, half a decade later, the project is finally moving in the right direction.

The Transformers franchise is obviously no stranger to animation, with the original television series in the 1980s, as well as the treasured The Transformers: The Movie from 1986, both being cartoons. There have also been several more recent Transformers cartoons aired on both Cartoon Network and Discovery Family. So, the franchise is being taken back to its roots in more ways than one.

For those who long for the live-action adventures though, fear not, as it was reported back in January that two separate Transformers scripts are currently in the works, with one rumored to be set the universe created by 2018's Bumblebee, whilst the other will aim to overhaul the entire movie series, possibly by adapting the Beast Wars: Transformers spinoff which debuted in the 1990s. Whether Paramount plans to go ahead with both or just one of these remains to be seen, but it certainly sounds like the live-action adaptations are far from over. This comes to us from Deadline.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge