After all these years, it looks like there's a chance that Paramount Pictures finally got the Transformers franchise right with director Travis Knight's upcoming Bumblebee movie. Fans loved that first trailer that was released and it looks like this movie might actually end up being a great film. It's definitely a change of pace from what Paramount was previously doing with the franchise. Now it sounds like if everything goes well for this movie, it could lead to Optimus Prime getting his very own solo film.
During a recent interview with EW, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura explained why they decided to do a Bumblebee spinoff film instead to continuing what they've been doing, saying:
"We were headed down the Bumblebee path well before the release of the last Transformers. We had felt that with the fifth movie, we had sort of run out of room with where to take it."
I'm sure there is some truth to that, but there was another Transformers movie in development that they recently ended up removing from their release calendar, so they obviously didn't feel earlier in the year that they had run out of room on where to take it.
Regardless, taking the franchise in a new direction is a smart move because that last movie that was released wasn't only terrible, but it was a box office failure. The producer goes on to explain why they chose Bumblebee for the first solo film outing:
"We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the fans that they wanted us to do a deep dive on one or two of the robots, because they wanted to get to know them better. Bumblebee was selected because he’s such a loved figure, and he’s also more emotional than Optimus. Those were the two likely characters."
This means that Optimus Prime was discussed as a potential solo film, and if Bumblebee does well, we could see an Optimus Prime movie next, which would be awesome. Lorenzo di Bonaventura goes on to elaborate on why Optimus didn't come first, saying:
"He’s a stoic leader, and you can count on him. Whereas Bumblebee is the one who is more emotionally volatile. He has a lot of ups and downs. So it seemed like the best character to try for the first time zeroing in on one Autobot."
He then goes on to that an Optimus Prime movie remains at the top of their list and that if they did make an Optimus Prime film, it would be very different than Bumblebee:
"I’d certainly like to do that. It would be a very different kind of movie than a Bumblebee movie, but equally interesting and different."
Obviously, if these films actually did well and the fans end up enjoying them, we will see sequels to them and maybe even more films focus on certain characters.
"If Bee’s successful, we can have a Bee 2, no doubt. We have a good sense of where a second movie would go. For me, the greatest thing that came out of the writer’s room was the sense that we could go in any number of directions. It opened up our minds to choices."
Then, of course, Di Bonaventura starts to complicate things with the franchise by talking about time travel:
"We could do a time travel movie. You could take almost any genre and do it. You can go back in the past, you can go to the future. So I think we’ve got an abundance of choices. It’s really more about narrowing them down than anything else, and deciding which one we think is the strongest one to go with next."
Yeah, I get what he's saying, but don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. That was one of the main problems with Michael Bay's films. Just tell good solid stories with these characters.
It will be interesting to see how audiences respond to Bumblebee when it's released on December 21st. After that comes out and we see that it;'s actually good, then we can start to really get excited about the future of the franchise.