Ricky Church with five potential Transformers spinoff movies…
With Transformers: The Last Knight potentially being Michael Bay’s final outing directing the franchise, Paramount and Hasbro are focusing on the future by developing not one, not two, but 14 potential spin-offs. A couple spin-offs we already know, such as Bumblebee and an animated prequel set on Cybertron. But what could the others be?
The Transformers universe is filled with a vast array of characters, featuring sub-groups of Autobots and Decepticons. There’s also the fact Transformers is a 30-year-plus old franchise with dozens of different interpretations. There are several directions they can choose from for the spin-offs so let’s look at what they could do to expand the Transformers film franchise.
A fan-favourite group, these guys are different from the typical Autobots seen in the cartoons, films and comics. Rather than transforming into cars or jets, the Dinobots transform into dinosaurs, usually a T-Rex, triceratops, stegosaurus, apatosaurus and pterosaur. They’re also a rebellious group, more prone to disobeying orders and doing their own thing rather than listening to anything Prime says. Depending on the interpretation, the Dinobots are also not very smart.
Since they were introduced in Transformers: Age of Extinction and will return in The Last Knight, the Dinobots are well suited to get their own film. Bay has already established, however vaguely, that the Dinobots have a mysterious past as Knights of some sort, so their past is already filled with adventures. Some common enemies the Dinobots have faced before are Scorponock, Shockwave and the Constructicons. Considering all three have appeared and died in the films, a prequel could see the Dinobots fight them in the past or see them battle someone new. Imagine a film where the Dinobots fight the giant robotic dinosaur, Tyrpticon, as shown in the latest comic Transformers: Salvation.
At a time in the 90s when the popularity of Transformers died down, a new animated series that was one of the first to entirely use CG came out on TV. Acting as a spin-off/semi-sequel to the original series, Beast Wars became a fan-favourite show for its well-told story, characters and connections to G1.
Set centuries after the original, Beast Wars saw the descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons, the Maximals and Predacons, in an uneasy peace on Cybertron. When a rogue Predacon named Megatron stole a sacred golden disc, a group of Maximals chased him across the galaxy and both crash-landed on a barren world. Using the planet’s animal life, they took on the forms of various beasts, such as dinosaurs, gorillas, rats and cheetahs. They eventually discovered they had actually landed on Earth in the distant past, where Megatron attempted to reshape the timeline by killing a dormant Optimus Prime so his namesake could claim victory.
A Beast Wars spin-off film has a lot of potential, especially since it can be unconnected to the previous films in the series. It would also add something new to the franchise because we wouldn’t be seeing the usual transforming vehicles, but actual animals. It wouldn’t have to be wholly separate from the films either; some iterations of the franchise, such as Transformers Animated or the current IDW comics, have seen some Beast Wars characters alongside the Autobots and Decepticons.
Ultra Magnus is one of the most powerful and significant Autobots in the franchise. He’s high up in the Autobot’s ranks, sometimes acting as Optimus Prime’s second-in-command, and was chosen to briefly lead the Autobots after Prime’s death in The Transformers: The Movie.
Not only is Magnus an imposing bot by his size, but also his personality. He’s a very strict Autobot, one who follows the rules and protocols to a great degree. Where he is a bit different than most Autobots is he’s vigilant against Decepticons and Autobot rogues. In the IDW comics, Magnus is an enforcer of the Tyrest Accords, something of a galactic pact that bans transformers from doing dealings with other lifeforms, such as trading weapons or technology, which could drag them into the Cybertronian war.
To that end he hunts down and prosecutes war criminals on both sides, sometimes even coming into conflict with the Dinobots for their reckless methods. A film about Ultra Magnus hunting down Decepticon war criminals has the potential for an interesting film.
The aspect of gestalt transformers, or combiners, hasn’t really been touched on in the film franchise. The last time they were seen was in Revenge of the Fallen with the Constructicons and their combined form, Devastator. Though Devastator was a rather… controversial addition to the film to say the least, especially with how much they veered from the G1 interpretation of him (Michael Bay awkwardly added metal testicles to Devastator).
Nevertheless, combiners have been a big staple in Transformers and there are several groups of bots who combine into one big bot. While they have the potential to be the focus of one of the main Transformers films, there’s also potential for them to have their own stand-alone film. A combiner is usually made up of 5 or 6 transformers, a good number for a small cast of Autobots and Decepticons to go at each other before combining.
The Aerialbots and Combaticons are two such groups that could feature in a film. It would offer a different type of Transformers film while introducing a lesser-known cast of characters.
The Last Stand of The Wreckers
Last but certainly not least, The Last Stand of the Wreckers is considered to be one of the best Transformers stories told in any medium. Last Stand of The Wreckers is about a team of spec-ops Autobots who are sent on very high-risk missions against the Decepticons. They are some of the best soldiers out there, but due to the danger of their missions they have a high-turnaround rate for recruits. The comic storyline saw them trying to take back a prison after Overlord, a very powerful and sadistic Decepticon, took it over and released all the Decepticons, turning the prison into his own personal kingdom of torture and death.
What worked so well about Last Stand of The Wreckers, though, was its focus on Autobots who aren’t that big in the franchise. Most of the cast was either lesser-known bots or created solely for the story and calls out the fact that sometimes it’s never the more popular Autobots who end up dying. Writers Nick Roche and James Roberts also made it a point to examine the cost of war and how some, if not most, deaths are needless and pointless as opposed to grand and brave.
The Wreckers were already introduced in Dark of the Moon, but didn’t have that much of a part to play, and were revealed to have died in Age of Extinction. Thanks to the high level of danger involved, the Wreckers can have a rotating cast. It would also be a good opportunity to introduce Autobots to the film series that wouldn’t normally get a chance to shine. Done right, a film based on The Last Stand of The Wreckers has the potential to be the best film in the Transformers series.
What Transformers spinoff movies would you like to see? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…