Transformers is a series of American science fiction action films based on the toys created by Hasbro and Tomy. Michael Bay has directed Transformers (2007), Revenge of the Fallen (2009), and The Last Knight (2017) while D. J. Caruso had directed More Than Meets The Eye (2013). A Bumblebee spin-off, directed by Travis Knigh, is scheduled for 2018, and a fifth film is to be released in 2019. The series has been distributed by Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks. A crossover with the G.I. Joe series, Transformers & G.I. Joe: Renegation was released in 2011. A spin-off, Beast Wars: Transformers was released in 2015.

The series has received a mixed critical reception; critics expressed criticism on the plots, crude humor, overuse of product placements, and the lengths of the films. However, many praised the visual effects, action sequences, and music. It is currently the 9th highest-grossing film series and the 4th highest-grossing when averaged to gross per film, behind the The Lord of the RingsHarry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean film series.

Films Edit

Transformers (2007) Edit

Transformers is the first film in the series, released on July 3, 2007. It grossed $709.7 million worldwide, and garnered generally favorable reviews. It was directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman from a story by Kurtzman, Orci and John Rogers, and starred Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) Edit

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the second film in the series, released on June 24, 2009. It grossed $836.3 million worldwide, and garnered negative reviews, scoring 19% on Rotten Tomatoes to the first film's 57%. It was directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and starred Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.

Transformers & G.I. Joe: Renegation (2011) Edit

Transformers & G.I. Joe: Renegation is a crossover with the Transformers and G.I. Joe film series, released on July 1, 2011, in 3D and IMAX 3D. It grossed $2.110 billion worldwide and received mixed reviews with 57% on Rotten Tomatoes. The crossover was directed by Richard J. Lewis and starred Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Channing Tatum, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye (2013) Edit

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is the third film in the series, released on January 28, 2013, in 3D and IMAX 3D. It grossed $1.123 billion worldwide, and garnered mixed reviews with a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and was better received than Revenge of the Fallen. It was directed by D. J. Caruso from a screenplay by Robert Towne, Ronald D. Moore, and Brannon Braga and produced by Michael Bay and starred Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Shia LaBeouf and Chelsey Reist.

Beast Wars: Transformers (2015) Edit

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)Edit

Transformers: The Last Knight is the fifth film in the series, released on June 21, 2017 in 2D and 3D. It grossed $517.3 million worldwide, and garnered negative reviews as the worst-rated on Rotten Tomatoes, with a score of 15%. It was directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay written by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway and Ken Nolan. This film was the final to feature Michael Bay as the director, as the franchise will search for a new director for future sequels.


Transformers Universe: Bumblebee (2018)Edit

Transformers franchise leader for Hasbro, Tom Warner, announced on February 12, 2016, that the next film in the series would be released on June 8, 2018. Later it was revealed that rather than a main entry, the film is to be a spin-off, starring Bumblebee and Hailee Steinfeld with Christina Hodson writing the script and Travis Knight directing the film as his live-action directorial debut. Later, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. was cast in the male leading role. In March 2017, it was revealed that the plot will focus on a younger-age Bumblebee making the film a prequel set in 1985.

Untitled sixth Transformers film (2019)Edit

In his February 12, 2016 announcement, Tom Warner, the Transformers franchise leader for Hasbro, also stated that a sequel to Transformers: The Last Knight, is to be released on June 28, 2019. It has been called "Transformers 6", but is untitled now and the studio is in search for a new director for the sixth film.

Other films in developmentEdit

In May 2015, it was reported that a film centered around the origins of the Autobots and Decepticons, tentatively titled Transformers One, is in development with Ant-Man and the Wasp screenwriters Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari. This followed a writers' room collaboration rendered by Paramount Pictures to determine the future of the Transformers franchise.[1]

In April 2017, Michael Bay stated that, as a result of the writers' room, there are fourteen stories completed for potential future Transformers films.[2]

Expanded universe Edit

Main articles: Transformers (film comic series) and List of Transformers video games § Games based on the film series

In addition to the films, the film series has a promotional expanded series that is set both before and after the events of the films. This includes comic books, video games, and novels. While the novels are partially based on the films themselves, and the video games aren't in the same continuity as the films, the comic books and graphic novels are in the same continuity and fill in several parts of the stories that weren't expanded on enough in the films.

Cast and characters Edit

Main articles:  List of Transformers fanon film series cast and characters

Production and development Edit


For the first film, producer Don Murphy was planning a G.I. Joe film adaptation, but when the United States launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Hasbro suggested adapting the Transformers franchise instead. They met with comic book writer Simon Furman, and cited the Generation 1 cartoon and comics as their main influence.[3] They made the Creation Matrix their plot device, though Murphy had it renamed because of the film series The Matrix.[4] DeSanto chose to write the treatment from a human point of view to engage the audience,[5] while Murphy wanted it to have a realistic tone, reminiscent of a disaster film.[4] The treatment featured the Autobots Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Jazz, Prowl, Arcee, Ratchet, Wheeljack, and Bumblebee, and the Decepticons Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Ravage, Laserbeak, Rumble, Skywarp and Shockwave.[6]

Steven Spielberg, a fan of the comics and toys,[7] signed on as executive producer in 2004. John Rogers wrote the first draft, which pitted four Autobots against four Decepticons,[8] and featured the Ark spaceship.[9] Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, fans of the cartoon,[10] were hired to rewrite the script in February 2005.[11] Spielberg suggested that "a boy and his car" should be the focus.[12] This appealed to Orci and Kurtzman because it conveyed themes of adulthood and responsibility, "the things that a car represents in the United States".[13] The characters of Sam and Mikaela were the sole point of view given in Orci and Kurtzman's first draft.[14] The Transformers had no dialogue, as the producers feared talking robots would look ridiculous. The writers felt that even if it would look silly, not having the robots speak would betray the fanbase.[10] The first draft also had a battle scene in the Grand Canyon.[15] Spielberg read each of Orci and Kurtzman's drafts and gave notes for improvement.[12] The writers remained involved throughout production, adding additional dialogue for the robots during the sound mixing (although none of this was kept in the final film, which ran fifteen minutes shorter than the initial edit).[16] Furman's The Ultimate Guide, published by Dorling Kindersley, remained as a resource to the writers throughout production.[16] Prime Directive was used as a fake working title. This was also the name of Dreamwave Productions' first Transformers comic book.[17]

Michael Bay was asked to direct by Spielberg on July 30, 2005,[18] but he dismissed the film as a "stupid toy movie".[19] Nonetheless, he wanted to work with Spielberg, and gained a new respect for the mythology upon visiting Hasbro.[18] Bay considered the first draft "too kiddie", so he increased the military's role in the story.[18][20] The writers sought inspiration from G.I. Joe for the soldier characters, being careful not to mix the brands.[21] Because Orci and Kurtzman were concerned the film could feel like a military recruitment commercial, they chose to make the military believe nations like Iran were behind the Decepticon attack as well as making the Decepticons primarily military vehicles.[22] Bay based Lennox' struggle to get to the Pentagon phoneline while struggling with an unhelpful operator from a real account he was given by a soldier when working on another film.[18]

Orci and Kurtzman experimented with numerous robots from the franchise, ultimately selecting the characters most popular among the filmmakers to form the final cast.[7] Bay acknowledged that most of the Decepticons were selected before their names or roles were developed, as Hasbro had to start designing the toys.Template:Citation needed[23] Some of their names were changed because Bay was upset that they had been leaked.[24] Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee and Starscream were the only characters present in each version of the script.[10] Arcee was a female Transformer introduced by Orci and Kurtzman, but she was cut because they found it difficult to explain robotic gender; Bay also disliked her motorcycle form, which he found too small.[21] An early idea to have the Decepticons simultaneously strike multiple places around the world was also dropped, being used later in the film's sequels.[14]

Revenge of the FallenEdit

For the second film, Paramount announced a late June 2009 release date for the sequel to Transformers in September 2007.[25] A major hurdle that was overcome during the film's production was the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, as well as possible strikes by the Directors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. Bay began creating animatics of action sequences featuring characters rejected for the 2007 film. This would allow animators to complete sequences if the Directors Guild of America went on strike in July 2008, which ultimately did not happen.[26][27] The director considered making a small project in between Transformers and its sequel, but knew "you have your baby and you don't want someone else to take it".[28] The film was given a $200 million budget, which was $50 million more than the 2007 film,[29] and some of the action scenes rejected for the original were written into the sequel, such as the way Optimus is reintroduced in this film.[30] Lorenzo di Bonaventura said the studio proposed filming two sequels simultaneously, but he and Bay concurred that was not the right direction for the series.[31]

Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman originally passed on the sequel because of a busy schedule. The studio began courting other writers in May 2007, but as they were unimpressed with their pitches, they convinced Orci and Kurtzman to return.[26] The studio also signed on Ehren Kruger, as he impressed Bay and Hasbro president Brian Goldner with his knowledge of the Transformers mythology,[32] and because he was friends with Orci and Kurtzman.[33] The writing trio were paid $8 million.[26] Screenwriting was interrupted by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, but to avoid production delays the writers spent two weeks writing a treatment, which they handed in the night before the strike began,[33] and Bay expanded the outline into a sixty-page scriptment,[34] fleshing out the action, adding more jokes,[33] as well as selecting the majority of new characters.[35] The three writers spent four months finishing the screenplay while "locked" in two hotel rooms by Bay: Kruger wrote in his own room and the trio would check on each other's work twice a day.[36]

Orci described the film's theme as "being away from home", with the Autobots contemplating living on Earth as they cannot restore Cybertron, while Sam goes to college.[37] He wanted the focus between the robots and humans "much more evenly balanced",[38] "the stakes [to] be higher", and more focused on the science fiction elements.[39] Lorenzo di Bonaventura said that in total, there are around forty robots in the film,[29] while ILM's Scott Farrar has said there are actually sixty.[40] Orci added he wanted to "modulate" the humor more,[41] and felt he managed the more "outrageous" jokes by balancing it with a more serious plot approach to the Transformers' mythology.[42] Bay concurred that he wanted to please fans by making the tone darker,[43] and that "moms will think its safe enough to bring the kids back out to the movies" despite his trademark sense of humor.[44]

Before Transformers was released, producer DeSanto had "a very cool idea" to introduce the Dinobots,[45] while Bay was interested in an aircraft carrier, which was dropped from the 2007 film.[46] Orci claimed they did not incorporate these characters into Revenge of the Fallen because they could not think of a way to justify the Dinobots' choice of form,[37] and were unable to fit in the aircraft carrier.[47] Orci also admitted he was also dismissive of the Dinobots because he does not like dinosaurs. "I recognize I am weird in that department", he said,[48] but he became fonder of them during filming because of their popularity with fans.[49] He added "I couldn't see why a Transformer would feel the need to disguise himself in front of a bunch of lizards. Movie-wise, I mean. Once the general audience is fully on board with the whole thing, maybe Dinobots in the future."[50] However, upon being asked on the subject, Michael Bay said he hated the Dinobots and they had never been in consideration for being featured in the movies.[51]

More Than Meets The EyeEdit

"You just learn a lot more about the hierarchy, and there's more about the history of what they had in Cybertron. Leonard Nimoy plays a great role."

— Michael Bay, on developing Sentinel Prime's character[52]
As a preemptive measure before the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Michael Lucchi and Paramount Pictures announced on March 16, 2009, that a third film would be released in IMAX 3D on January 23, 2013. In August 2009, Michael Bay announced that he would not return to direct the film as he was busy with Pain & Gain.

Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who had worked on the two previous Transformers films, declined to return for the third film, with Kurtzman declaring that "the franchise is so wonderful that it deserves to be fresh, all the time. We just felt like we’d given it a lot and didn’t have an insight for where to go with it next".[53] Revenge of The FallenTemplate:'s co-writer Ehren Kruger became the head screenwriter for More Than Meets The Eye. Kruger had frequent meetings with Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) visual effects producers, who suggested plot points such as the scenes in Chernobyl.[54]

In September 2009, D.J. Caruso, the director of Eagle Eye, was announced as the sequel's director and Robert Towne, Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, the writers of Mission: Impossible II, were hired to help Kruger write the story for the film. Caruso described hiring the three writer as "a good opportunity for fresh writing for the franchise". Bay responded to Caruso being cast as the new director; "I trust Caruso. I believe he will do a much better job with the film than I did with Revenge of the Fallen".

On October 1, 2009, Caruso revealed that Transformers 3 had already gone into pre-production, and its planned release was back to its originally intended date of January 23, 2013, rather than 2014.[55] Due to the revived interest in 3-D technology brought in by the success of Avatar,[56] talks between Paramount, ILM, Caruso, and Bay had considered the possibility of the next Transformers film being filmed in 3-D, and testing was performed to bring the technology into Caruso's work.[57] In addition to using the 3-D Fusion camera rigs developed by Cameron's team,[58] Caruso and the team spent nine months developing a more portable 3-D camera that could be brought into location.[59]

In a hidden extra for the Blu-ray version of Revenge of The Fallen, Bay expressed his intention to make Transformers 3 with Caruso not necessarily larger than Revenge of The Fallen, but instead deeper into the mythology, to give it more character development, and to make it darker and more emotional.[60] Having been called Transformers 3 up to that point, the film's final title was revealed to be More Than Meets The Eye in October 2010.[61] After Revenge of The Fallen was almost universally panned by critics, Bay acknowledged the general flaws of the script, having blamed the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike prior to the film for many problems. Caruso and Bay promised to not have the "dorky comedy" from the last film as Caruso would take the captain's wheel.[62] On March 19, 2010, the script was said to be finished.[63]

Future and shared universeEdit

In March 2015, Akiva Goldsman was tasked to create a "Transformers Cinematic Universe", as to oversee the development of a multi-part sequel, along with prequels and spin-off films in a "writer’s room" style brain trust.[64] In May 2015, Deadline reported that Robert Kirkman, Zak Penn, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Jeff Pinkner, Andrew Barrer, Gabrial Ferrari, Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beer, Ken Nolan, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Steven DeKnight will write spin-offs, potentially titled Beast Wars and Transformers One and sequels for the franchise.[65][66][67][68][69] At least 12 films will be pitched for the "Transformers Cinematic Universe".[70] On September 17, 2015, Deadline reported that Barrer and Ferrari will write an animated film that will explore the origins in Cybertron, with a working title Transformers One.[71] The writer's room also resulted in the three announced Transformer films which are currently in development.


Crew/Detail Transformers
Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers & G.I. Joe:

More Than Meets The Eye

The Last Knight

Optimus: Story from Transformers
Director Michael Bay Richard J. Lewis D. J. Caruso Michael Bay Travis Knight
Producer(s) Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Don Murphy
Tom DeSanto
Ian Bryce
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Michael Bay
Stephen Sommers
Don Murphy
Tom DeSanto
Ian Bryce
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Don Murphy
Tom DeSanto
Ian Bryce
Writer(s) Roberto Orci
Alex Kurtzman
Ehren Kruger
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Daniel T. Thomsen
Greg Plageman
Ehren Kruger
Robert Towne
Ronald D. Moore
Brannon Braga
Ken Nolan & Art Marcum and Matt Holloway
Editor(s) Paul Rubell
Glen Scantlebury
Tom Muldoon
Tom Muldoon
Paul Rubell
Roger Barton
Joel Negron
Sondra Watanabe Roger Barton
William Goldenberg
Joel Negron
Roger Barton
Adam Gerstel
Mark Sanger
John Refoua
Cinematography Mitchell Amundsen Ben Seresin Oliver Wood Amir Mokri Jonathan Sela
Composer Steve Jablonsky Brian Tyler
Jason Graves
Ramin Djawadi Steve Jablonsky
Production companies Di Bonaventura Pictures
Hasbro Studios
Spyglass Entertainment (1 & 2)
Skydance Productions
Hasbro Studios
The Montecito Picture Company
Skydance Productions
Hasbro Studios
Skydance Media
Di Bonaventura Pictures
Hasbro Studios
Distributor DreamWorks Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Running time 143 minutes 150 minutes 154 minutes 148 minutes
Release date July 3, 2007 June 24, 2009 July 1, 2011 January 23, 2013 June 21, 2017
MPAA rating PG-13
BBFC rating 12


Box office performanceEdit

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget
North America Other
Worldwide All time
North America
All time


July 3, 2007 $319,246,193 $390,463,587 $709,709,780 #36
#69 $150 million
Revenge of the Fallen


June 24, 2009 $402,111,870 $434,191,823 $836,303,693 #18
#44 $200 million
Renegation July 1, 2011 $ $ $ $310 million
More Than Meets The Eye


January 23, 2013 $352,390,543 $771,403,536 $1,123,794,079 #27
#10 $195 million
The Last Knight


June 21, 2017 $260 million
Total[76] $ $ $ $
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on current ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

Critical and public receptionEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Transformers 57% (221 reviews)[77] 61 (35 critics)[78] A[79]
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 19% (243 reviews)[80] 35 (32 critics)[81] B+[79]
Transformers & G.I. Joe: Renegation 57% (211 reviews) A
Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye 35% (247 reviews)[82] 42 (37 critics)[83] A[79]
Transformers: The Last Knight 15% (171 reviews)[84] 28 (46 critics)[85] B+[79]
Average 29% 40 A-

Academy AwardsEdit

Award Film
Revenge of the Fallen

More Than Meets The Eye

The Last Knight

Sound Editing Template:Nom Template:Nom
Sound Mixing Template:Nom Template:Nom Template:Nom
Visual Effects Template:Nom Template:Nom


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