Transformers: Age of Extinction

If we’ve learned anything this week about the film industry, it’s that it’s going all in on franchises, regardless of how the next entry does. Did you love or hate The Amazing Spider-Man? Who cares, it’s spawning four sequels and spin-offs to the the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which, though opinions are varied, is described as a mess by almost all critics). In that spirit, Michael Bay has announced that Transformers: Age of Extinction is the start of a new trilogy.

Talking with Entertainment Weekly (who’ve spent a lot of time ruining their reputation of late), Bay said this:

“We had three, the first trilogy, and this is going to be the next one. Yeah, it’s the first of a new trilogy, I’m not necessarily sure that I’m doing [the others], but that’s what it’s meant for.”

Bay has expressed public reticence since the second sequel, but as he makes over a hundred million dollars every time he returns to the helm, it’s easy to understand why he might not be sure if he’s coming back. Yes he’s been doing this for nearly a decade and he may want to move on in his career, but the money is right. Also, saying you’re not sure you want to return is a good bargaining chip when returning. That said, Bay will surely be on as a producer for whatever comes next.

Studios seem to be trying to follow the Twilight/Hunger Games/Marvel model in that they want to be on to the next one before the first film has even come out. To compress the window between sequels so the audience that was first hooked stays there. And there’s a certain amount of business sense to that. But it also means that films like Divergent, which we just wrote about, is turning a book trilogy into four films even though the first film is still in theaters, and doesn’t look like an out and out success. But audiences have gone back for more with the Transformers movies, even when they’ve been pretty terrible, so it’s easy to see why Paramount would want to press on with these films.

Are you geared up for Transformers 4?