Paramount has big plans for the future of Hasbro’s popular toy line, as the studio is developing multiple Transformers movies that will release in the next several years. Michael Bay helped launch the Transformers franchise in 2007 with Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in the lead human roles. Although Fox left after just two films, LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky remained the focus for the first trilogy. Under this era of the Transformers movies, the series achieved peak popularity, as Transformers: Dark of the Moon made more than $1.1 billion at the box office worldwide. The franchise became a huge part of Paramount’s plans as a result, explaining its continued investment in the franchise with a new Transformers movie arriving every few years since. Here are all Transformers movies so far.
The Transformers movies entered a new era without LaBeouf, and the chance of a Megan Fox return, with Transformers: Age of Extinction, as Mark Wahlberg became the face of the franchise. He returned to star in the fifth film, Transformers: The Last Knight, which proved to be the end of Michael Bay’s time with the franchise. The two Wahlberg-led movies were not as popular at the box office, and critical reviews of Bay’s CGI-heavy blockbusters became harsher too. Paramount was well-positioned for a change, though, as 2018 saw Bumblebee hit theaters with Hailee Steinfeld in the lead. The movie was a moderate financial hit but received strong critical reviews. This left the studio to contemplate their next steps with the Transformers IP, as sequels, prequels, and spinoffs of Michael Bay’s movies were considered at the same time that plans for the growth of the Bumblebee universe emerged. Meanwhile, a complete franchise reboot was also on the table.
A new Transformers movie is set to arrive in 2023, Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts, and the next Transformers movie will be the first of many to come. After taking a few years to develop various ideas, Paramount seems to have figured out what the future of the franchise will look like. It includes a brand-new trilogy of movies that expand the mythology beyond the Autobots and Decepticons. There are also plans for Transformers movies to return to animation for the first time since 1986’s Transformers: The Movie. All in all, there are multiple upcoming Transformers movies that audiences will see in the next few years.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
The first new Transformers movie on Paramount’s slate is the seventh live-action movie in the franchise, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The movie has been in development for a few years after Joby Harold was hired to write the script. Paramount eventually hired Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II) to direct the movie and revealed that it would introduce characters from Transformers: Beast Wars. The movie will still feature recognizable Transformers like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee alongside other Autobot and Decepticon characters but will also feature new additions like the Maximals’ leader Optimus Primal and members of the Predacons and Terrorcons.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is set between Bumblebee and Michael Bay’s Transformers in the timeline, as the movie tells a story set in 1994. The film stars Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) as an ex-military electronics expert from Brooklyn named Noah. Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah) stars opposite him as Elena, an artifact researcher for a museum. Together, they become wrapped up in a global adventure involving the Transformers. This is where Transformers 7‘s Beast Wars influence comes into play, as the animal-themed beings will emerge throughout as an ancient conflict returns. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts releases in theaters in June 2023 after Paramount delayed it from the original June 2022 release date.
Paramount has already confirmed that Transformers 8 is in the works as part of a new trilogy that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will kick off. Details on the eighth movie are incredibly scarce at the moment. It is not confirmed if Steven Caple Jr. will return to direct the film or if Ramos and Fishback’s characters will return. However, both of those options seem likely given the early confirmation on the studio’s part that Transformers 8 is happening. Plot details have yet to be revealed as well, although fans should expect that it will continue building on the story established in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. This might include a deeper exploration of the Beast Wars mythology and provide greater details on the Maximals’ history that Rise of the Beasts may not have time to delve into. Transformers 8 does not have a release date yet, but the early announcement could mean it is ready for release by 2025 or 2026.
In addition to Paramount’s plans for an eighth film, Transformers 9 is also in development to wrap up the new trilogy commenced by Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Like its immediate predecessor, there are no further details on what Transformers 9 is about or who will be involved. It should be expected that the movie will continue expanding the Beast Wars universe in some fashion. This could include a revelation that Unicron is involved with this ancient conflict. Of course, the franchise could once again reinvent the franchise’s past to reintroduce the Dinobots and have them interact with the animal-themed Transformers. Paramount has not announced a Transformers 9 release date, but it likely won’t arrive until 2028 or 2029 unless it is filmed back-to-back with Transformers 8.
Transformers Animated Movie
Not to be confused with 1986’s Transformers: The Movie, Paramount also has an animated Transformers movie in development. The film is directed by Toy Story 4‘s Josh Cooley and has been in development for several years. The untitled Transformers animated movie has previously been reported as a story about the origin of Cybertron. Plot details are not confirmed, though, so a new focus may have developed. Paramount has confirmed that the mystery animated Transformers movie will be released in theaters on June 19, 2024.
Paramount was also at one point developing Bumblebee 2. The sequel to 2018’s movie was reportedly in the works shortly after its release and positive reception. No writer was ever revealed for the project, although it was believed that Joby Harold’s Transformers script was a Bumblebee sequel. This turned out to be Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which makes it unclear if a proper follow-up is still in the cards. A proper sequel featuring Hailee Steinfeld’s Charlie seems unlikely based on Bumblebee‘s canon-disrupting ending. Still, perhaps the studio will find a creative way to bring her and Bumblebee back together for another adventure. At this point, Bumblebee 2 might not ever see the light of day, but it is at least a few years away based on its current status.
Will Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight Sequel Happen?
There is also a lingering question about the possibility of Transformers: The Last Knight getting a sequel. Michael Bay and Paramount had plans to make sixth and seventh installments of the franchise to build off the movie’s events. It was shortly after Transformers: The Last Knight‘s release that plans changed. The result has been the Bay era of movies taking a backseat. However, Paramount could revisit the idea of continuing the Transformers franchise in the present day at a later point, even if that means pushing forward without Michael Bay’s involvement.
The New Transformers Movies Will Start Over with a Fresh Lead
Despite there being five new Transformers movies on the cards, none of them will feature a Shia Labeouf return, and Mark Wahlberg’s also reportedly done with the Transformers franchise, leaving the door open for a full reset. Labeouf led the first trilogy of Transformers movies as Sam Witwicky, and for audience members who stopped following the franchise after the initial three entries, it might seem bizarre that he’s not featured. The initial decision not to return came from Labeouf, who felt that Sam’s story was complete and had run its course. This didn’t sit massively well with fans though, many of whom found it jarring that he’d suddenly vanished from all involvement with Optimus and the Autobots – especially when it was implied he’d died off-screen, judging from a comment made during Transformers: The Last Knight that suggested Vivian Wembley was the last surviving member of the Witwicky/Wembley bloodline (The Witwiccans).
Wahlberg is also through with his portrayal of Cade Yeager, with reports as far back as 2017 confirming at a charity screening of Transformers: The Last Knight that it was his final offering (via boston.com). The idea of non-Michael-Bay Transformers movies didn’t appeal to him, as he says he’d signed on for the collaborative aspect, so the upcoming Rise of the Beasts couldn’t incentivize him enough to return. That being said, neither lead was ever really going to upstage the giant, clattering Autobots and Decepticons, so it’d be an opportune time for the Transformers movies to invest some creative energy into its leads and provide a robust human element to counterbalance the presence of the Bots.