‘Transformers’ Creative Leader Akiva Goldsman Adds More Writers, Teases Franchise Plans
As the new creative director/writers room head for the Transformers franchise, producer Akiva Goldsman’s job is to collect a group of talented and diverse writers and oversee future projects for the franchise, including sequels and spinoffs. Goldsman has just added two more writers to his room, which is apparently now fully-staffed and ready to roll out their mission. But…what is that mission, exactly? Goldsman was kind enough to share.
Per Deadline, Goldsman has added two more writers to the writers room, making his brain trust complete, and both of them have screenplays on the Black List: Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Ken Nolan. Robertson-Dworet wrote a sci-fi thriller for Roland Emmerich’s DP Anna Foerster to direct, and co-wrote the Black List screenplay Hibernation. Nolan is best known for Black Hawk Down, and recently sold a spec script to Fox based on Robert Littell’s Cold War novel Defection.
The pair join previously announced writers Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim), Jeff Pinkner (Amazing Spider-Man 2), Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Christina Hodson (the upcoming remake of The Fugitive) and Lindsay Beer (Disney’s upcoming Dig).
As for their plans? Goldsman tells Deadline that their first order of business is developing a timeline for the franchise’s mythology, and it sounds like he’s created a very productive space to do just that:
We’ve got a work space that is beautifully production designed to be immersive with a strong sense of the franchise history. We will look at the toys, the TV shows, the merchandise, everything that has been generated by Hasbro, from popular to forgotten iterations, and establish a mythological time line. It has been designed with a lot of visual help, toys, robots, sketches and writers and artists. After that super saturation, the writers will figure out not one, but numerous films that will extend the universe.
The writers will head into work on Monday, which I imagine looks something like that scene from Michael Bay’s Armageddon, where the astronaut team is walking all heroic in slow-motion, preparing for the most dangerous mission of their lives.
The first project for the new Transformers writers room to tackle is Transformers 5, which Michael Bay will direct when he completes work on his Benghazi drama 13 Hours. Goldsman also explains that there is potential for all kinds of different spinoff projects:
If one of the writers discovers an affinity for Beast Wars, they can drive forward on treatments that will have been fleshed out by the whole room.
Paramount’s writers room approach isn’t that different from what studios like Marvel and Warner Bros. are doing, although this is far more transparent than Marvel’s staff-writing and seems more collaborative and positive than WB and DC’s hiring of various writers to deliver various scripts for a single project.