It doesn’t look like Michael Bay will be directing a DC movie anytime soon. While the filmmaker was reportedly in early discussions to take the helm of Lobo for DC and Warner Bros., Variety now reports that the Transformers director has solidified his next two projects. Up first will be an action movie called 6 Underground, which boasts a screenplay by Zombieland and Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. While the logline is being kept under wraps, it’s an original idea and production is slated to begin this summer as Skydance has set a Summer 2019 release date. Bay will produce alongside Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger.
More curious, however, is the project Bay has his eye on for after this one: Robopocalypse. Longtime readers will recognize that title as it’s a project based on a book by Daniel Wilson that came this close to happening with Steven Spielberg at the helm a few years ago. The story tells of a future where artificial intelligence comes online an threatens a robot apocalypse, and in 2012 Spielberg had cast Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway, and Ben Whishaw in lead roles with a script by The Cabin in the Woods co-writer Drew Goddard. However, in January 2013 Spielberg abruptly pulled the plug on the project, saying he found “a better way to tell the story,” thus delaying the film indefinitely.
It never came back around for Spielberg, who moved on to Bridge of Spies, The BFG, The Post, and this year’s long-awaited return to blockbusters Ready Player One, but Spielberg remains attached as a producer and Variety says Bay is now in talks to direct. This would be a reunion of sorts, as Spielberg was the one who tapped Bay to take the helm of the first Transformers movie. That obviously spawned a franchise for which Bay helmed a total of five separate Transformers films, but he’s apparently done with that series good.
The box office disaster of Transformers: The Last Knight may have something to do with that, as the film failed to gross more than $130 million domestic and came up $500 million short of its previous installment worldwide. It’s a little odd that Bay would return to a robot-centric actioner after directing five Transformers movie, but you can’t say the dude doesn’t have an aesthetic.
Bay switched things up with the small-scale crime dramedy Pain & Gain in 2013 and the true-story military actioner 13 Hours in 2016, but it sounds like he’ll be sticking strictly with action with his next two projects. Reese and Wernick are certainly hot at the moment coming off Deadpool and with Deadpool 2 on the horizon, so it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve put together for 6 Underground. The duo also wrote last year’s sci-fi thriller Life.