It seems that the Transformers movie franchise may not necessarily have ended with this past summer's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. According to the latest report, Hasbro Toys may be looking to keep the mega movie tentpole alive with not just one, but two sequels which would shoot back-to-back!
While Moon was said to be the final film in the franchise for director, Michael Bay and star, Shia LaBeouf, the fact that the film brought in $1.1 billion worldwide may be something that Paramount Studio and Hasbro Toys cannot overlook. Right now, the toy company is in "active discussions" with Paramount, along with Michael Bay (who would stay on as executive producer) and Steven Spielberg (also in a producer capacity) regarding the continuation of the giant robot saga.
Additionally, (in a report that is still unconfirmed,) the name of action star, Jason Statham has seemingly been dropped as the possible new star of the franchise.
How likely could all of this be?
The fact that the discussion has veered toward making the monolithically-expensive films back-to-back as a cost-saving measure does seem to carry a ring of truth, given how tight things are, economically. Of course, the Transformers franchise has never failed to perform at the box-office, but there is still a measure of risk by resurrecting a successful franchise after what was meant to be an epic conclusion and then jamming a new star into the mix.
Back-to-back filming is hardly a new practice and would be a similar strategy used by other big-budget franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Matrix, which allows the convenience of keeping the actors and crew under contract more easily for both films. However, it is also the more advantageous method for Hasbro Toys, who have seen a 15% rise in the sale of boy's toys and have seen their foreign sales rise significantly, due a lot in part to the Transformers movie tentpole.
Now, the planning process for two would-be sequels can be in better sync with the logistics of the toy-manufacturing process. At the end of the day, that's really what all of this is about. (In addition to slow-motion explosions and hot babes.)