When it comes to Michael Bay’s feature film career, nearly 40% of it has been taken up by Transformers movies. Given that each movie takes about two years to complete, that’s a serious chunk of time. But now, with Bay’s fifth Transformers film Transformers: The Last Knight hitting theaters next week, the filmmaker is ready to bid the franchise adieu. Or so he says.
Speaking with Fandango, Bay says that The Last Knight will be his final go-around directing a Transformers film:
“These movies that I’ve done, they are massive movies. They take a lot out of you,” Bay said when we asked if he was finally — for real, this time — stepping away from the Transformers franchise. “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.”
Of course, Bay said this after the third film, Dark of the Moon, and again after Age of Extinction. After Dark of the Moon specifically, Bay said he wanted to let another filmmaker come in and shake up the franchise, take it in a new direction, before he admitted that he selfishly wanted to be that director. So Age of Extinction rebooted the cast with Mark Wahlberg as the new lead, and it made $1.1 billion worldwide. Then Bay, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and writer/producer Akiva Goldsman assembled a writers room to plan out where the Transformers can go in the future, including spinoff films. Bay sparked to two ideas in that room, combined them together, and opted to return to direct The Last Knight which retroactively reveals that the Transformers have been on Earth fighting alongside humans for a very, very long time.
So yeah, Bay says he’s done with the franchise but it’s entirely possible he returns for Transformers 6. If he does leave the series for good, though, what kind of movies would he want to direct? After directing the first three Transformers films back-to-back he crafted the dark comedy Pain & Gain, and before The Last Knight he directed the true-story war actioner 13 Hours. The filmmaker seems keen on doing something “more adult” again next:
“I just read a very bloody hit man movie that was a page turner. That seems like a fun one to do. I love doing 13 Hours, I love doing Pain & Gain — I think it’ll be something more serious and more adult, I guess.”
It’ll be interesting to see what direction Bay takes his career next if he is indeed done with Transformers. The guy’s only 52, so there’s a lot of tread left in those tires, and inevitably some fan will start a campaign to have Bay direct a Marvel movie or a Star Wars movie. Whatever the case, I’ll just be happy if it’s not Transformers 6.