Michael Bay has already confirmed that none of the cast from the Transformers trilogy will be returning for his fourth movie, which is set to open June 24, 2014. Now it looks like some (if not all) of the original robots will be getting the cut to make way for the new toy line.
Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner recently spoke about the future of the franchise at the UBS Best Of Americas 2012 Conference. While it seems everyone was happy with Transformers: Dark of the Moon making over $1 billion at the box office, the toy sales weren’t that hot. Hasbro’s problem is that once a kid has an Optimus Prime toy he doesn’t need another one, despite the new film releases.
Goldner’s comments were roughly transcribed by TFW2005:
Brian says TF3 did well in boxoffice. Regarding toy sales… it’s because of same characters in all three movies. This is why Transformers 4 will have a new cast of [robot] characters and it will be a story revolving around these new characters.
He said it’s normal for any brand to experience the situation (what happened to Transformers 3 toyline) and stated that brands need re-imagining, reinvent and hinted that the same is to happen with Transformers 4.
Toys and merchandise dictating the course of movies is nothing new. Cars 2 is a prime example of that, and most studio movies don’t get the green-light if there’s no clear merchandise or McDonald’s tie-in opportunities.
I was hoping Transformers 4 would take the franchise in a different direction, something that isn’t just explosions and VFX. The return of Michael Bay and screenwriter Ehren Kruger (Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon) just seems to confirm it’ll be more of the same, now with different clanging metal.
Plot details for Transformers 4 are unknown, but it will have a smaller budget than Dark of the Moon and may spend more time in space.