Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley has reportedly signed on to helm an animated Transformers feature. According to Deadline, the film will be a prequel unconnected to the live-action series. It will take place on Cybertron, the home planet of the heroic Autobots and villainous Decepticons. It will revolve around the relationship between Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, and Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons. Ant-Man & the Wasp writers Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari will pen the script. The announcement lists no voice actors attached.
The project has apparently been in development since 2015. Barrer and Ferrari joined a writer’s room at Paramount to help expand the Transformers universe. But there’s a good reason we haven’t heard about it until now. Deadline states it will be much easier to begin work on an animated feature than a live-action one during the current pandemic. This has made the decision easy to make for Paramount and Hasbro’s entertainment studio, eOne. Cooley is overseeing Barrer and Ferrari’s final draft right now.
Although this movie will be unconnected to previous films, it will, in no terms, serve as a reboot of the franchise. Deadline states that series still has more entries coming. The last installment in Michael Bay’s main franchise was 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight. While critical reception has never been particularly high, the series has usually performed well at the box office. Fan-favorite Bumblebee received his own spin-off in 2018 with director Travis Knight. The spin-off’s reviews were higher than other entries, though its box office returns were certainly not.
Josh Cooley is a big catch for the Transformers series. He received a Best Animated Feature Oscar for directing Toy Story 4, which he also helped develop the story for. He also co-wrote 2015’s Inside Out, another beloved Pixar feature. Here’s hoping he’ll bring over some of that Pixar magic.