Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DeKnight Comments on Transformers Writers Room

Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil, Spartacus), one of the bakers dozen writers helping to shape the future of the Transformers Cinematic Universe, briefly commented on his experience with the room.

You know, it’s that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to plan things out, and it was a wonderful experience. Akiva Goldsman was fantastic, and Jeff Pinkner, who’s co-writing the 5th movie with him, was phenomenal — Zak Penn — it was just a room full of brilliant, funny, amazing people. We spent two and a half weeks in best — psychically, the best writers’ room I’ve ever seen in my life. Paramount pulled out all the stops. It was phenomenal. We laughed, and joked, and told stories and plotted out — I can’t say what we plotted out, but it was all very exciting. In the next few months we’ll see what moves forward and what doesn’t move forward. It was a fantastic experience. One of the best experiences of that was when Steven Spielberg popped by to just sit, and talk, and hear what we were working on. Everybody was about to throw up they were so excited.

What do you think that franchise learned from the experience of having a writers room with a lot of TV writers?
DEKNIGHT: It remains to be seen. I think the biggest thing that does when you’re dealing with a franchise that is so global and makes so much money, is actually taking a moment to think things out. Because a lot of the time, you go into production and you don’t have a finished script, the script is still being worked on. It’s very difficult to work that way. I can’t imagine — especially with the second movie when the writer’s strike happened and Michael Bay has to start prepping anyway — I can’t imagine trying to prep a movie of that size and complexity not having a locked script. It happens all the times in movies, you just have to start because of people’s availabilities. So my hat’s off to Paramount for trying something new in this way and really giving this writers room thing a spin. For me, it was a fantastic experience. I loved it.

Would you use the writers’ room method on a feature film?
DEKNIGHT: If it was one feature, probably not. For one thing, I don’t think they would ever pay for it, because writers are kind of expensive to get them all together. But if it was for a bigger franchise that was a trilogy? Absolutely, I think it’s a great way to go.
Time will tell if this approach will bring positive results to the critically slammed franchise. Except for the first movie, the MO of the movies was Bay and company would design the characters and the major action sequences of the movie around essentially a summary of the potential story line and then the writer would work backwards and incorporate those things into the movie. The result has been mixed at best as often its pretty clear that the movies' "plot" was really just a way to get from action scene A to action scene B. Assuming Bay direct Transformers 5, does this mean he will have to design the action scenes around a finished script or are they just really developing that next summary to work backwards from at a later date? We will probably not know for many months.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quintessons and Ultra Magnus for Transformers 5?

File this under "grain of salt" but Christian Today (how is that for an odd source for movie rumors?) is reporting that one plot point being considered for Transformers 5 would introduce the movie version of the Quintessons and Ultra Magnus. Optimus Prime would meet the Quintessons, who in the movie-verse would be the Transformers creators, to get answers about why they wanted to kidnap him from Transformers: Age of Extinction. Part of the plot would include introducing Ultra Magnus who would have history with Megatron (now Galvatron).

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

RIP George Coe

Long time character actor George Coe died July 18th at the age of 86 with a career that spanned more than 50 years. For today's fans you might remember his voice as Wheeljack/Que in Transformers: Dark of the Moon but more likely as Woodhouse on Archer. His voice over work included roles in video games (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, The Elder SCrolls V) and in cartoons (Legend of Korra, Star WArs: The Clone Wars). When acting he as appeared on a wide genre of shows be it Grey's Anatomy, Supernatural, Curb Your Enthusiasm and many more including the first season of Saturday Night Live. He also received an Oscar nomination for short film in 1968. Condolences to his family.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

IDW October 2015 Transformers Comics

IDW Publishing has released their publishing plans for October 2015. Four floppies, one trade and one box set are coming out that month. Of note is a one-shot that focuses on the Dinobots as they try to figure what warriors should do when there is no war. For the full details of IDW's other books including GI Joe, Star Trek, and more click here.

Friday, July 10, 2015

SDCC 2015 Day One Transformers News

I had planned to wait until the end of the weekend and just sum up all of the Transformers news from the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) but it seems just do to the panel schedules that most of the news has already been released. Hasbro had their Transformers Brand Panel where they showed off the Victorion combiner (yep all repaints) and few other sets that are planned for release sometime in the fall. They also revealed a new cartoon web series with Machinima and another trailer for the Transformers: Devastation video game. At this point all that seems left in the news department will be from IDW's panel and usually they just tease the same material already released in the 3 month advance comic book solicitations. On the movie front I seriously doubt there will be any info. Below are the highlights with links to pictures from Thursday's first official day of SDCC.

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