Transformers, the IP that never dies, based on the 1980s toy franchise with the slogan “more than meets the eye” is being developed again at Paramount with two projects, one by Independence Day: Resurgence scribe James Vanderbilt and the other by John Wick Chapter 3 EP and Army of the Dead scribe Joby Harold.
The Vanderbilt project, from what I heard, is based on Transformers spinoff Beast Wars which are robots that transform into robotic animals like Cheetor (Cheetah), Optimus Primal (Gorilla), Rhinox (Rhinoceros) and more. Vanderbilt has been on the project since April. There’s news today that one project is based in the Bumblebee universe.
The franchise, including spinoff Bumblebee, has amassed over $4.8 billion worldwide over six titles. However, Bumblebee which was expected to be a rejuvenation of the blockbuster series was the lowest grossing installment with $468M worldwide during the 2018 year-end holiday season, going up against Aquaman.
It’s still early. No directors attached, though both will feature new casts.
Go right back pre the cartoon series to the Nature lies, they're robots in disguise premise, and properly play up there's a secret war going on in the most unlikely of places. You hold off on Megatron being revealed til near the end as a T-Rex, have Tarantulas your bad guy, hordes of tiny spiders and him as one big massive one. Primal as gorilla obviously.
I think that's manageable now though. I don't know what the budget for the BBC/HBO Dark Materials series was, but the animals in that are easily good enough for cinema and that can't have a had a cinema scale budget.
Very much up for either really. Would like to see a BW movie done well on the big screen and they could do with doing something new and fresh. I did also enjoy the tone of the Bumblebee movie though and something following that up would be very welcome.
Hmmm, if they made a BW film I wouldn't count on them feeling obliged to stick to the original cast. They would probably take even more liberties with the source material than Bay did, and as someone who can take or leave BW, I'd be quite happy for them to do so.
Part of me thinks there should be no over-sized animals, and that they should all be the right size. So if Rattrap were used at all, he should be rat-sized.
Would they include extinct species such as dinosaurs? Dunno. Dinosaurs are cool, but they've already done the Dinobots in live-action, and it would be tough to explain in plot terms. But if there were no dinosaurs or over-sized bugs, what animals could they sell as bad guys?
Would Primal still be a gorilla? He was originally supposed to be a bat. My money would be on them jumping straight to lion for him.
What would Megatron be if he had to be a living species rather than an extinct one? A crocodile as originally envisaged? A giant snake? Or something else? Why should Autobots/Maximals get to be animals that we like and Decepticons/Predacons have to be things we find creepy/scary?
Several years ago I attempted to get involved with the club with a prose project, but was shut down by Pete.
Transformers Animated: Beast Wars. It would have taken place now, as opposed to 50 years in the future or in the distant past.
The basic theme was Urban vs Urban Legends. Maximals fit the Urban, by being relatively normal animals you'd find in a city. Optimus Primal- Gorilla (lived in the zoo, had Perry the Platypus stile escapes when needed) Mirage- Race Horse Salvage- Racoon Sonar- Bat K9- German Shepherd
The Predacons fit the Urban Legend theme. Being relatively fantastical, and the kind of thing people wouldn't believe you if you said you saw. Megatron- Alligator (literally the alligator in the sewer) Manterror- Praying Mantis (reference to these things: ufo.fandom.com/wiki/Mantis) Dinobot- Utahraptor, though I'd currently change that to Dakotaraptor given it's controversy
There was a giant plague rat, I can't currently remember his name, and the fifth predacon either wasn't yet cast before I shut down, or I've since forgotten.
I leaned into the silly because TFA (a gorilla riding a horse down main street at 2am, Sonar lived alone in an abandoned house that kids became convinced a vampire lives there), but I still believe this basic theme is sound.
Should a film version of Beast Wars come to exist I expect it to have very little to do with the source material (just like the Bay films). Don't expect them to look like past BW characters or have the same names etc.