“Experience the final chapter.”
“See them roll out for the last time.”
So read the taglines in promotional material released this week for Michael Bay’s fifth film in the “Transformers” series, “The Last Knight,” which opened Wednesday. Assuming “The Last Knight” is the final film the blockbuster saga, the adverts wouldn’t bear questioning — except it’s not.
The first “Transformers” spinoff film, centered around the lovable Bumblebee character is in the works with director Travis Knight (“Kubo and the Two Stings”) and actress Hailee Steinfeld both attached. It’s scheduled for release on June 8, 2018. Plus there’s a “Transformers” sequel dated for summer of 2019, details for which are not yet public.
So what gives?
As Bay indicated to Fandango in June, the latest “Transformers” film is his last.
“These movies that I’ve done, they are massive movies. They take a lot out of you,” Bay said. “I’ve done it enough, and I’ve had a great time doing it. I’m going out with a bang on this one, and I feel like you gotta go out while you’re ahead, you know. I think I’ve had a good run, and I’ve got a lot of other movies I want to do.”
See Michael Bay's latest POWER MOVE.
When reached out for comment, a Paramount spokesperson confirmed the “franchise is continuing” to TheWrap.
“Five films in a decade by one filmmaker has never been done before,” was the reasoning offered as to why the company chose to describe “The Last Knight” as “The Final Chapter” — meaning Bay’s “final chapter” in the saga (although he’s producing the Bumblebee spinoff).
— #TRANSFORMERS (@transformers) June 21, 2017
— #TRANSFORMERS (@transformers) June 22, 2017
“The Last Knight” is off to a lukewarm start in North America, where it earned $8.1 million on Thursday for a muted two-day total of $23.8 million, the lowest start of any title in the franchise. Overseas it’s faring better: It opened in China Friday with an estimated $47.9 million, 69 percent higher than the 2014 bow of “Transformers: Age Of Extinction,” in local currency.