The fifth Transformers movie is set to continue the new trilogy that began with Transformers: Age of Extinction, whose stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox were replaced by Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor. With a release date of June 23, 2017, it seems like a good time to collect what we know so far about the now renamed Transformers: The Last Knight for fans of the franchise.
Despite the latest installment’s disappointing reviews, the Transformers films have been major box office hits, and plans for the sixth, seventh, and eighth sequels have already been announced by Hasbro. Paramount is promising sweeping changes for the franchise beginning with Transformers 5, which includes casting a young female actress as the lead character, making Optimus Prime travel through both space and time, and ramping up the entire Transformers cinematic universe.
With filming having begun last May, no footage is available as of yet, though several promotional photos for the Autobots and Decepticons appearing in the movie have been released. It’s likely that The Last Knight will also be rated PG-13, just like all four previous installments, as its director and the studio like to push the envelope for the series, never going for an R rating, yet never softening for a PG rating either (despite being based on a line of toys).
Hit NEXT for Transformers: The Last Knight’s new and returning cast members, insane plot details, and new looks for returning alien robots as well as brand new ones.
Plot Details and Rumors
At the end of Transformers: Age of Extinction, we saw Optimus Prime blast off into outer space while the rest of the Autobots, now led by Bumblebee, remained to protect the planet from a once more at-large Megatron.
The synopsis for Transformers: The Last Knight reveals that Optimus eventually returns to his home planet of Cybertron, but finds that it’s now dead and that he is the one responsible for it. He then learns of a way to restore it back to life through an artifact that can only be found on, where else, Earth. And then, this is where things get weird.
According to JoBlo, it turns out that the artifact is somehow tied to the legendary wizard Merlin, yes, the Merlin of Arthurian lore, which makes it almost certain that the artifact refers to the mythical sword Excalibur, especially since the movie’s initial logo included a sword right in the middle.
Apparently, Merlin received ‘magical’ powers from a Transformer, which shouldn’t be a surprise, as the franchise has shown the robotic alien race visiting our planet in past millennia. It remains to be seen whether Optimus Prime will search for the artifact by traveling through time or tracking its whereabouts in the present day.
The addition of British mythology to the Transformers universe certainly seems bonkers, but after the Dinobots, who will be returning in the movie, it doesn’t seem too far out there.
Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg Return
One thing that hasn’t changed since the first film in 2007 is its director; Michael Bay will once again be at the helm of the inspired-by-toys franchise. The creative driving force behind the Transformers movies looked to be moving away from the robots series early on, but was pulled back eventually for at least one more film. He even announced it in the most Michael Bay quote ever: “I'm doing Transformers"¦5 is it?”
Bay has convinced Mark Wahlberg to return for a sequel, despite the actor’s previously saying he doesn’t do sequels. After their collaboration in Pain & Gain, Wahlberg got the lead role for Age of Extinction, which he explained to the media isn’t a sequel for him, saying he “thought of it more as a stand-alone thing. I've never done a sequel.”
But then he did a sequel for Ted and now he’s back in Transformers. It’s still uncertain what exactly his character, Texan inventor Cade Yeager, will be doing in the fifth film, but he certainly won’t be the lead, as that role will go to a new cast member.
Isabela Moner is Cast as the Female Lead
Surprisingly, the movie’s lead character will be played by 14-year-old Isabela Moner, who the younger generation may recognize from her work in Nickolodeon shows, such as live action roles in 100 Things To Do Before High School and Growing Up Fisher, as well as voice acting in Dora and Friends: Into The City.
Her deep ties with the network explain how the major role landed in her court, as parent company Viacom owns both Nickolodeon and Paramount. The Wrap reported that Isabela will play Izabella (yes, really) who is described as:
A street-smart tomboy who grew up an orphan and was raised in foster care. She counts a small Transformer as her only friend"¦until she meets [Mark] Wahlberg's heroic inventor Cade Yeager.
The new Transformers lead is definitely interesting, as it’s outside Michael Bay’s comfort zone. Both the franchise and Bay’s previous works have all had heroic 18 to 35-year-old male leads and targeted the same demographic. Moner looks to be the first female lead in the center of a Transformers film, as well as the youngest actress Bay has worked with.
As for the “small Transformer” referred to in the description, it’s probably new cute Autobot Sqweeks, who turns into an old, rusty Vespa scooter.
Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson Return to the Franchise
Though Josh Duhamel had a decent number of acting credits to his name prior to Transformers, his role as Lt. Col. William Lennox is arguably his biggest. After appearing in the original trilogy, Duhamel sat out the fourth film, as Paramount was attempting to take Transformers in a new direction. Well, it’s been confirmed that his character is back for The Last Knight.
While the Autobots definitely know who Duhamel’s Lennox is, it’ll be interesting to see his interaction with Wahlberg’s Yeager and what he’s been doing during his time away from the story.
Just like Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson also appeared in all of the first three Transformers movies but got sidelined in the fourth. His return to the franchise was finally confirmed after he posted the above picture with Michael Bay on Instagram.
The last time we saw Gibson’s character, Robert Epps, he was working with the Autobots on the spaceship Xanthium at a NASA launch site after retiring from the military. We’ll be seeing what he’s been up to ever since, and hopefully his tandem with Lennox resumes.
Anthony Hopkins Joins and Megan Fox Might Return
Sir Anthony Hopkins has been confirmed to play an unspecified role in Transformers 5, but it seems easy to narrow down after the introduction of three new Transformers for the movie. One of those is called “The Creator” who, as his name implies, seems to be tied to how the Transformers came to be, and it sounds like the ideal character for Hopkins to bring to life.
The other possible role is, of course, Merlin, which feels even more ideal, to be honest.
Megan Fox arguably owes Transformers her shot to fame for giving her her breakout role as Mikaela Banes. After starring in the first two films with Shia LaBeouf, she was removed from the third after publicly comparing director Michael Bay to Hitler in the press (among other things).
However, there’s a rumor that Fox could be returning to the Transformers franchise to add another familiar face, as well as continuity, to the film. Fox and Bay seem to be on friendly working terms again, since the actress was cast to play April O’Neil in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, which Bay produced.
Expanding the Transformers Cinematic Universe
Ehren Kruger is once again the screenwriter tasked to continue the ongoing struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons in the fifth film. While he admits that the creative team works on one story at a time, they are also “certainly laying the building blocks for some other stories we have in the back of our heads.”
“I have a Transformers 5 [story] in my head. Whether that will be what Transformers 5 is, or I will work on it, who knows at this point?” he adds, before explaining how Michael Bay often makes drastic changes during the creative process.
The bigger news, however, is that Paramount and Hasbro held a TV-style Writers Room event for the franchise, recruiting top names in long-form storytelling to come up with ideas for the future of the Transformers movies. Led by Akiva Goldsman, who won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind, the group plotted out the next ten years of Transformers.
The Last Knight will become the first movie that results from that Writers Room experiment, and with input from the likes of Steven DeKnight (Daredevil), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man), things are promising for the massive Transformers series.
New Looks for Returning Autobots
Over the course of filming this summer, Michael Bay has been teasing the updated looks of the bots appearing in the film on Twitter and Instagram. Among the returning Autobots are Bumblebee (above), Crosshairs, Hound, and Drift. Bumblebee’s vehicle form will be updated from the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro of Age of Extinction to a 2016 Camaro custom-built by General Motors.
Crosshairs was introduced in Age of Extinction and was voiced by John DiMaggio (Futurama). His design hasn’t changed all that much, except for the possibility of a split spoiler with two lightning bolts striking in opposing directions.
On the other hand, Hound, voiced by John Goodman, looks quite different from his previous look, as he now has red crosses indicating that he’s now also a field medic in addition to being a dog of war.
Drift, voiced by Ken Watanabe, has received a new red paint job for the fifth film, though he retains his samurai look and dual swords. His vehicle form has also been updated to be a Mercedes AMG GT R.
Megatron is the Big Bad Once Again
Optimus Prime’s arch-nemesis is once again the big villain in The Last Knight. Megatron was never really away from the films, but in the most recent film his consciousness was transplanted into Galvatron, and he was referred throughout as such. However, it seems he would once again prefer to be called Megatron in the new film.
The sword/axe he’s holding indicates that we can expect a duel with fellow sword-wielding Optimus Prime. Also, his face might remind you of something familiar…
Right? Megatron’s head kinda resembles Ultron. Not to mention their personality descriptions sound eerily similar too.
Hot Rod and Onslaught Join the Fray
Fans of the Transformers cartoons can now rejoice as classic character Hot Rod will finally be joining the cinematic universe. Hot Rod is Bumblebee’s closest buddy, and is energetic, brash, and even arrogant at times. However, he became mature and wise when he replaced Optimus Prime as the new leader of the Autobots, Rodimus Prime.
Hot Rod’s introduction, combined with rumors that it will be Optimus Prime’s last appearance in the films, seems to indicate that the same will happen in the movie. We’ll have to see how that plays out since Bumblebee is currently in charge of the Autobots on Earth.
Not to be outdone, the Decepticons will also welcome a new member to their cinematic ranks, Onslaught. His representation in the movie seems fairly faithful to the source material, which means that fans can expect that bad things are in store for the Autobots.
It also means the creative team has dug deep into Transformers lore to finally introduce Onslaught and perhaps the Combaticons as well. This sub-group of the Decepticons have military vehicle forms, such as missile launchers, and they combine to form the gargantuan Bruticus.
With the Dinobots also in the movie, prepare for an even bigger robot battle.
G.I. Joe Crossover Rumors
Finally, there’s a prevailing rumor spreading among Transformers fans saying that Paramount could be looking to boost its toy-based action movie franchises via a crossover with G.I. Joe, which it also owns. It’s hard not to find the appeal of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis working with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura even said it was a possibility. However, he then went on to say that:
I don’t think [it's] in the near future at all. It’s not something we talk about either. There’s a lot more story to be told in both cases. And I think if at some moment we think, "˜You know what? It’s time to bring the two of them together,' we’ll do that. But I think they’re strong enough to exist on their own.
So while the team-up isn’t likely in The Last Knight or even the next few years, fans can hold out hope for the future.
Transformers: The Last Knight is set to arrive in cinemas on June 23, 2017.