EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Hasbro started its writers room to hatch Transformers sequels, spinoffs and prequels, and they’ve added the final member of the brain trust. It’s Steven DeKnight, creator of the Starz series Spartacus, and the showrunner on the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil for Netflix.
Several days ago, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 was filming a Halloween parade in New York City. During the scene, a person dressed as a yellow vehicle rolls up on Michelangelo (played by Noel Fisher) and then transforms into Bumblebee.
Ken Nolan and Geneva Robertson-Dworet have been set to join the group of writers who, starting Monday, will gather in an office on the Paramount lot to hatch the next iterations of the billion-dollar Transformers franchise. Nolan is best known for Black Hawk Down and Fox recently acquired his spec adaptation of the Robert Littell Cold War novel Defection, this after Nolan turned his novel The Company into a limited TNT series. Robertson-Dworet, who co-wrote the Black List script Hibernation, is writing a space thriller for Roland Emmerich that will be directed by his longtime DP Anna Foerster. She is also teamed with Will Frank on a sci-fi action thriller for Jerry Bruckheimer and a psychological thriller for Bad Robot that’s produced by The Imitation Game‘s Ido Ostrowsky and Nora Grossman.
When they start Monday, Goldsman and the writers will immerse themselves in everything that has been crafted by Hasbro to create what Goldsman said is a deep mythology. “We’ve got a work space that is beautifully production designed to be immersive with a strong sense of the franchise history,” he said. “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.”
Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay have added the first two female screenwriters to the brain trust of writers who’ll hatch Transformers sequels, prequels and spinoffs under the supervision of Akiva Goldsman. Christina Hodson and Lindsey Beer have both joined the group that will help craft ideas to expand the universe of the Hasbro toy line, then go off and write them. Hodson most recently got hired to write a new version of The Fugitive for Warner Bros and producer Arnold Kopelson. She previously scripted the spec The Eden Project, which Sony bought for Material Pictures, and her script Shut In just wrapped with Naomi Watts starring and BAFTA-winner Farren Blackburn directing for Lava Bear and Europacorp. The CAA and Kaplan/Perrone-repped scribe also scripted Unforgettable for Warner Bros and is developing a pilot for FX. She has hit the Black List with her scripts three different times.
WME-repped Beer writes in multiple genres, but most frequently comedy and fantasy drama. She has several features set up around town, including a live-action family adventure story at Disney called Dig, which she sold on spec with Whitaker Entertainment producing. She did work on Short Circuit for The Weinstein Company and her rated-R genre-bending comedy How To Nail An Alien is being developed at Atlas, and her script Electric is also with Whitaker. She’s currently working on a re-imagined The Wizard Of Oz for Warner Bros. with Vertigo. Black Label Media is producing and financing her project Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. Beer is the daughter of Sundance co-founder Gary Beer, and has the necessary background if Paramount wants to blind them with science in these Transformers films: she studied neuroscience and the intersection of technology and society at Stanford.
Last year was Transformers 4. Which happened in the second quarter and was quite a good success for us last year. We've begun to work with writers and we are now developing the Transformers Universe beyond the first four movies. And we are continuing to have Television on the air with Cartoon Network where Transformers is performing quite well through the first quarter coming off of a movie year.
As we go forward, we would imagine several more Transformers Movies. Not just in the current lineage but also spin-offs and focusing on certain key characters that loved the world over. Many of you know Bumblebee; the yellow Camaro, formerly known as a yellow VW Bug and he is a beloved character by kids all over the world. We could see stories told around Bumblebee and other characters.
We are in a process of building a brand equity around the Comic Book Business, our TV Business, our Digital Gaming Business and adding to that our new movie business of Transformers.
Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari, who spent half a year doing the production rewriting on Marvel’s Ant-Man, have become the latest to join the Writer’s Room that Paramount Pictures and director Michael Bay have organized to hatch sequels, prequels and spinoffs on their billion dollar Transformers franchise. I’m hearing that one of the ideas in the works has a working title of Transformers One, and that it is more or less an origins story that takes place on Cybertron, the planet where the good guy and bad guy robots hail from. Those talks originated with rights holder Hasbro. I’d also heard that this might be an animated feature, but that Barrer & Ferrari are also going to the writer’s room with the expectation they’ll write a live action Transformers movie, as well. Paramount insiders said that they haven’t gotten that far on the specific projects, but I am told this is the plan. A Cybertron movie sounds like fertile ground for a feature, to me.
EXCLUSIVE: Two months after Paramount and the Transformers brain trust of Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura picked Akiva Goldsman to incubate ideas for a multi-part sequel and spinoff films based on the billion-dollar franchise, they have finalized their “writers room.” And it’s a doozy.
Goldsman’s four-team roster features some of the top names in sci-fi, I’ve learned: Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Iron Man scribes Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, Pacific Rim 2‘s Zak Penn and Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Lost‘s Jeff Pinkner. I’m hearing the ink isn’t even dry on the deals, but that is a major-league lineup to join Goldsman, who is spearheading it all for the studio, Hasbro, Spielberg and Bay (Bay and Goldsman were college buddies at Wesleyan). More writers will be added.
This is a major priority for new Motion Picture Group President Marc Evans, who’s tasked with getting more movies made. It marks an intriguing new step as studios put even more of a premium on the care and feeding of tentpole franchises, as is the case with James Cameron’s Avatar sequels and Disney’s process for developing its Marvel tentpoles.
Amazon has released its lineup of movies and TV shows that will be available for streaming come June 2015. During those hot summer days, Amazon Prime members will be able to enjoy titles like "Transformers: Age of Extinction," "The Shining," "Lucky Number Slevin" and Season 5 of "Covert Affairs."
Amazon Prime titles
"Apocalypse Now Redux"
"Something Wild" (1986)
"Sid & Nancy"
"Rep: The Genetic Opera"
"The Island of Dr. Moreau"
"The Paper Chase"
"People Will Talk"
"Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog"
"Murder of a Cat"
"Word and Pictures"
"Life of Crime"
"Transformers: Age of Extinction"
"A Most Wanted Man"
"Lucky Number Slevin"
"Covert Affairs," Season 5
"Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour"
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