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Fifth Transformers film may be Michael Bay’s last, but expect two more to follow

It’s been nine years since the first installment in the Transformers live action film series was released to mixed reviews. Despite the cool reception for the last chapter to hit theaters, Transformers: Age of Extinction (5.8 on IMDB, 32 out of 100 on Metacritic, and 18 on Rotten Tomatoes), the fourth film in the series earned over $1 billion at the box office. It was the only movie to do so in 2014.

So it should come as no surprise that Paramount Studios announced the release of the next installment. And another. And another. The film studio set the release dates for these three films for the next three years on Friday, as reported by CNET. The as-yet unnamed fifth film will open on June 23, 2017, followed by the sixth on June 8, 2018, and the seventh will come out June 28, 2019.

Michael Bay is of course behind the film franchise, which began with Transformers in 2007. He directed the first four films and will be returning one more time to work on “Transformers 5.” “I still have a great time,” Bay said. It’s fun to do a movie that 100 million people will see. But this is the last one. I have to pass the reins to someone else.”

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In March, Bay selected Oscar winning writer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to lead a writers’ room that will work on the next three films. Included are Robert Kirkman, Christina Hodson, Lundsey Bee, Zak Penn, Jeff Pinkner, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway. “We decided that we wanted to plot out the next 10 years of the Transformers franchise, so we got together in a room over a three-month period of time,” said Hasbro Studios president Steven Davis in an October keynote.

For the fifth installment in the franchise, Bay will be directing from a script by writers Nolan (Black Hawk Down) and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man). Mark Wahlberg is set to return as Cade Yeager.