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Paramount plans cinematic universe around Transformers franchise

transformers writers robert kirkman zak penn age of extinction
Given that the most recent installment of the live-action Transformers franchise was the top-grossing movie of 2014 worldwide, and was recently determined to be the most profitable film of the year, it’s no surprise that Paramount Pictures has grand plans for Optimus Prime and his robot posse — and a new report offers some indication of just how big those plans really are. (Hint: They’re even bigger than giant-robot-riding-a-giant-robot-dinosaur-directed-by-Michael-Bay big.)

Much as Disney is doing with the Star Wars franchise, Paramount is developing a series of sequels and spin-off films set within the Transformers universe. Deadline reports that I Am Legend and I, Robot screenwriter Akiva Goldsman will oversee a “writer’s room” tasked with developing future projects that will exist in both the primary timeline for the franchise and in various outlying corners of the Transformers universe. Goldsman will work with franchise director Michael Bay, as well as producers Steven Spielberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, on building out the world of Hasbro’s popular transforming robots.

Goldsman, who won an Oscar for scripting 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, is not expected to write any of the Transformers movies himself.

According to the report, Bay is hoping to “roll out” the next film in the Transformers franchise as soon as he’s finished with his upcoming political drama 13 Hours, an adaptation of Michael Zuckoff’s novel 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi. The film is a dramatized account of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound in Benghazi.

Transformers: Age of Extinction star Mark Wahlberg is expected to return for at least one and possibly more of the sequels, as he’s reportedly signed to a multi-film deal.

While it didn’t top the domestic box-office charts, Age of Extinction ended up as the highest-grossing film of all time in China, and its performance there helped it become the only 2014 film to earn more than $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales. All four Transformers films have together grossed more than $3.7 billion.

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