The Autobots are getting one step closer to rolling out again. After a lengthy search, Paramount has decided that it would like to tap Steven Caple Jr., who made a name for himself in directing Creed II, to direct the next film in the Transformers franchise as it begins relaunching the series. Caple is said to have impressed many top execs at Paramount who see him as a good fit to carry the franchise forward. Though no negotiations have started yet, Deadline is reporting that the deal will go through.
The franchise finds itself in an odd place at the moment. After the horrifically bad Transformers: The Last Knight, Paramount decided to relaunch the series with Bumblebee. That film was critically praised but failed to reach the massive box office Paramount wanted, so in January it decided another relaunch was needed. They tapped James Vanderbilt and Joby Harold to write competing scripts, the former reportedly drafting a Beast Wars adaptation and the latter doing a film set in the Bumblebee universe. It appears now that Caple will be directing the Harold screenplay, though there is no confirmation of it is indeed still taking place in the same universe as Bumblebee.
With more than $4 billion grossed worldwide, Paramount obviously wants to get Transformers right so it can continue to bring in the money. Caple is an interesting choice as he doesn’t have much background in major action films. Creed II was a bit of a mess, but he did direct it with enough style and drive to keep it tense despite the film being more cliche than the fantastic Creed. It will also be interesting to see if he continues with the Spielberg-esque adventure style of Bumblebee or moves more back towards the action-driven Michael Bay films.
This isn’t the only big-screen Transformers actions we’ll be seeing from Paramount. The studio is also in the process of developing an animated prequel film that’s not connected to the live-action series.