Why Transformers 7’s G.I. Joe Crossover Was Almost Stopped By OG Director Michael Bay

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Summary

  • Director Michael Bay’s approval was needed for the crossover between Transformers and G.I. Joe to happen, as he remains attached as one of the executive producers.
  • Paramount Pictures had long wanted to create a Transformers Cinematic Universe, and the ending of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts finally allows for that.
  • Despite recent critical and commercial failures within the franchises, Paramount is pushing forward with their planned cinematic universe, including an upcoming animated Transformers film.

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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ crossover with G.I. Joe almost didn’t happen because it needed director Michael Bay’s approval. While Bay did not direct the latest installment in the Transformers franchise, which Creed II‘s Steven Caple Jr. helmed, the filmmaker remains attached as one of its executive producers. Bay has directed the first five installments of the Transformers series, which have been some of the highest-grossing movies of his career, despite a slew of negative reviews.

Speaking to Variety, Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins explains how the movie’s biggest reveal, where Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) gets recruited to join G.I. Joe by Agent Burke (Michael Kelly), was almost stopped by Bay. Robbins planned to bring both worlds together to create a cinematic universe, but this required the approval of Hasbro (the toy company that owns both brands), Bay, and Steven Spielberg, who was also a producer. As the CEO recounts, Bay expressed concern that this reveal would cheapen the Transformers movies he directed. Check out what he said when Bay finally agreed below:

I called him 50 times. I would not let him off the hook. And when he finally stopped dodging my calls, we got him to sign off.


Paramount Has Wanted to Do A Transformers Cinematic Universe for a Long Time

Blended image of Noah and Optimus Prime with his blaster in Transformers Rise of the Beasts

With the surprising ending of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the promise of developing a Transformers Cinematic Universe has been a long time coming since Paramount hired Akiva Goldsman to build a shared universe inside the Transformers franchise. Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight retconned the franchise by showing that the Transformers have been a part of planet Earth since the Middle Ages, opening the door for many spinoffs tackling past and present-day storylines. However, due to the poor critical and commercial reception of The Last Knight, Goldsman ultimately left the writers’ room, and the franchise rebooted itself a year later with Travis Knight’s Bumblebee.

Bumblebee was better received than The Last Knight and was a modest commercial success inside a highly-competitive Christmas moviegoing season with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman, and Mary Poppins Returns sharing screens. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura confirmed that a crossover with G.I. Joe was in the works in 2021. With the release of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the two biggest Hasbro franchises have officially crossed over into one large shared universe.

Related: Why A Transformers & GI Joe Crossover Movie Has Never Happened (Yet)

Whether Paramount continues with its plan remains to be seen, as the latest G.I. Joe movie, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, was a critical and commercial failure, while Rise of the Beasts received a lukewarm reception both critically and at the box office. However, the studio seems to go full steam ahead with its planned universe, with the first animated movie in the Transformers franchise, Transformers: One, to release in theatres in September 2024. With Paramount adamant about going forward with this cinematic universe, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts twist ending can now be viewed on Paramount+.

Source: Variety