Back in late March, Paramount announced that they are putting together a Transformers writers room, with multiple scribes all working to hatch ideas for sequels and spinoff movies from director Michael Bay's lucrative franchise. Over the past few months, we've reported on all the different writers who are coming on board to join this collective, and today Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) and Geneva Robertson-Dorsett have joined the group who will start work at the Paramount lot on Monday. The Transformers writers room will be lead by Akiva Goldsman, who revealed details about how this collaborative process will work. Here's what he had to say, revealing the group will largely operate in the same way that a TV show writer's room does.
"There is such reciprocity between TV and movies now, that we're borrowing this from TV. I got a taste of this from J.J. Abrams when I came in to write an episode of Fringe, and then Jeff Pinkner let me hang around for four years like the drunk uncle. The whole process of the story room was really delightful, and we are seeing it more in movies as this moves toward serialized storytelling. There are good rooms around town, including the Monsters Room at Universal, the Star Wars room, and of course, at Marvel. We're trying to beg, borrow and steal from the best of them, and gathered a group of folks interested in developing and broadening this franchise. There is a central corridor of movies that has been proceeding quite well, but our challenge will be to answer, where do we go from here?"
Ken Nolan and Geneva Robertson-Dorsett will be joined by 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) and the first two female writers who were brought on this week, Christina Hodson and Lindsey Beer. When work starts on Monday, they will join Akiva Goldsman to delve into everything Hasbro has created in the Transformers world to put together a cohesive cinematic universe.
"We've got a work space that is beautifully production designed to be immersive with a strong sense of the franchise history. We will look at the toys, the TV shows, the merchandise, everything that has been generated by Hasbro, from popular to forgotten iterations, and establish a mythological time line. It has been designed with a lot of visual help, toys, robots, sketches and writers and artists. After that super saturation, the writers will figure out not one, but numerous films that will extend the universe."
We have reported in the past that the room's first priority is to come up with a story for Transformers 5, which Michael Bay will direct after he wraps on his Benghazi drama 13 Hours. All of the writers, including Akiva Goldsman, will come up with a treatment to write, and then they will get the first crack at writing the script, provided it meets the approval of Paramount, Hasbro's Brian Goldner, Michael Bay, and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. Here's what Akiva Goldsman had to say about how the individual writer's process will work.
"If one of the writers discovers an affinity for Beast Wars, they can drive forward on treatments that will have been fleshed out by the whole room."
When asked why he decided to lead this unique venture, Akiva Goldsman had this to say.
"It just felt like such fertile ground and a rich environment for storytelling, and there has already been thoughtful work done long before any of us came into the room. We will be innovative miners, and we will have fun and get to do what we imagined this was all about when we were kids."
Do you think this collective writer's room process could work for the Transformers franchise? Are there any particular ideas for sequels or spinoffs, based on any of the existing material or toys, that you would like to see? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more details.