Longtime “Transformers” franchise producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura indicates that despite talk last month that spin-off “Bumblebee” has served as a soft reboot of the “Transformers” cinematic universe – they’re not ready to ditch the previous film formula just yet.
Before “Bumblebee” came “Transformers: The Last Knight,” Michael Bay’s fifth and final directorial effort for the franchise and one that hoped to be the launchpad for a whole slew of new “Transformers” films. The movie was shredded by critics and audiences held little interest with the movie’s box-office dropping precipitously, seemingly scuttling those grand cinematic universe ambitions.
Speaking to Japanese film site Cinema (via Movieweb) this past week, Di Bonaventura confirmed that not only is a “Bumblebee” sequel being made but also another film in “the main family series” which will retain the continuity of ‘The Last Knight’. That project is being developed right now:
“We are already working on two projects and both have scripts under development. One is the latest in the main family series following the events of Transformers: The Last Knight and the other is a sequel to Bumblebee. So, we are thinking of films where Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will be the buddies, but when Optimus and Bumblebee are the movies of the protagonists … how human beings get involved in their drama In the first place, the size is different between human beings and theirs …. It’s a worrying point (laughs).”
Speaking separately to Collider, di Bonaventura says the reception they got to “Bumblebee,” especially from long term fans with some of them complaining about the lack of action compared to Bay’s film, is part of the reason for this return towards more familiar territory next time around:
“Several lessons have come out of this [Bumblebee]. One is that we have the freedom to tell almost any story. The other is that, how strongly the audience identified with the strength of character and emotion. I know the next Transformer, our attempt anyway, is to sort of do a fusion of Bumblebee and the Bay movies…a little more Bayhem
And a little bit more of the character falling in love within the emotional dynamic of the movie. One of the things I want to do – and I hope we pull it off – is, we did it with Bumblebee because he’s so cute and he’s so accessible, but he can’t talk. I think the more human we can make these characters, the more people are going to like them.”
“Bumblebee” closed out its theatrical run with $459 million based on a $135 million budget along with the franchise’s best reviews to date.