What We Know: Transformers: The Last Knight
By Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
Another movie about Transformers is coming this summer, and while there’s a lot we know we can expect from Michael Bay, there just might be more than meets the eye with Transformers: The Last Knight. In the wake of new footage shown at CinemaCon this year in Las Vegas, it’s time to jump into what we know so far about the summer blockbuster!
Directed by Michael Bay (who swears that this is really the last film in the franchise he will helm), Transformers: The Last Knight is a sequel to Age of Extinction. Produced by Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Ian Bryce, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, with the screenplay written by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway (Iron Man), and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), the film’s story comes from the minds of the mentioned writers as well as Akiva Goldsman (who is currently producing Star Trek Discovery for CBS All Access this year).
With the franchise having earned $3.7 billion worldwide so far, expect more sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. Paramount has put together a team, headed by Akiva Goldsman, to create a Transformers “cinematic universe,” similar to what we have seen coming from DC and Marvel. For example, a Bumblebee spin-off film is already projected to premiere June 8, 2018 and a Transformers 6 is slated for June 28, 2019. (Let’s just hope that Steve Jablonsky keeps composing for the films, as his continued work in the franchise has been brilliant thus far.)
But that’s the future of Transformers. The next film of the Hasbro franchise coming down the pipeline this summer is The Last Knight. The movie began principal photography in May 2016 in Havana, Cuba. Filming then continued in Phoenix and Detroit, before moving on to European locations such as Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland, Norway, etc. Filming wrapped in December 2016, and a trailer was released the next day, coming in as the third highest viewed trailer of 2016. You can see it for yourself here:
Other television spots have come out, teasing us about what to expect, but with nearly 20 minutes of footage released at CinemaCon in March, along with a new trailer, we know a bit more about the “Bayventure” we will be taking this summer. It looks like humans are at war with all Transformers, Autobot and Decepticon alike. With the two species of flesh and metal struggling to survive, Optimus Prime seems to be gone. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and friends are seeking answers for the future by looking to the past and the history of Transformers on Earth. That past looks to WWII and Nazis, and even further back to King Arthur, the wizard Merlin, and the Knights of the Roundtable. The search for answers will take us to a ruined Chicago, Stonehenge, and more, along with a visit to the estate of English lord, Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). How long have Transformers been coming to Earth, and why? As the war wages on, will friends become enemies, and vice versa?
Rumors also flew around during 2016 that Optimus Prime will find destroyed Cybertron and learn that he was responsible for its demise. To revive it, Prime must find an artifact, and that artifact rests on Earth. This is an unconfirmed plot point, but wouldn’t it be fun if it were true and that artifact was Excalibur? (I’m just saying.) Rumor also has it that the footage shown at CinemaCon reveals the identity of the “last knight” referred to in the title. I’m happy to reveal that… you’ll have to watch the movie yourself to find out.
Rumors aside, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Collider that Transformers: The Last Knight will explore how Transformers came to be and how they converted from a slave species to a sentient race. He explained that the film will dig deeper into how the divisions within the species arose. It seems that the film will attempt to further expand the mythology of the Transformers “cinematic universe.” (Maybe there IS something to those rumors?)
The PG-13 film will bring back lots of familiar names along with some fresh faces. Mark Wahlberg will be back as single father and inventor, Cade Yeager. Josh Duhamel will reprise his role as Lieutenant Colonel William Lennox along with Tyrese Gibson returning as Robert Epps. And if you didn’t get enough of John Turturro as Seymour Simmons, rest easy. He’ll also be coming back. The always impressive Stanley Tucci will also return for Transformers: The Last Knight as Joshua Joyce (the man who tried to make his own Transformers).
Expect to see and hear some familiar Transformers as well, including Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), Megatron, Hound (voiced by John Goodman), Bumblebee, and Grimlock, the giant metal T-Rex we met in Age of Extinction. You’ll also see other Transformers, such as Sqweeks, Barricade, Cogman, Hot Rod, Canopy, Crosshairs (voiced by John DiMaggio), Knights of Cybertron, and even some baby Dinobots. The
Fresh faces join the cast of Transformers: The Last Knight. Isabela Moner (100 Things to Do Before High School) will play scrappy and street-smart tomboy, Izabella. The fantastic Anthony Hopkins will be playing Sir Edmund Burton, an astronomer and historian who lives on his large estate with Transformers. Laura Haddock will fill the role of Vivian Wimbley, an Oxford professor who teams up with Cade. Santiago Cabrera is a mercenary for the TRF (Transformers Reaction Force), attempting to wipe all Transformers off the face of the Earth. Liam Garrigan will be King Arthur, a role he was apparently made for as he also played King Arthur on Once Upon a Time. Comedian Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) is playing in a currently undisclosed role.
You can see the cast yourself in a more in-depth trailer that was released March 2017, right here:
That’s what we know so far! Transformers: The Dark Knight will be released in the U.S. June 23, 2017 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. While you wait, you can check out the Facebook page, or follow the film’s official Twitter (@transformers).