BWTF's Top Ten Choices to direct "Transformers 5"
"Transformers: Age of Extinction" was one of the biggest earners at the box office this summer, raking in a worldwide take of $1,080,564,000 as of September 14, 2014 (according to Box Office Mojo. Given this it is no surprise that Paramount Pictures wants another "Transformers" film. Though nothing is set in stone yet, there have been reports that some Paramount officials have already announced a "Transformers 5". While the story officially waffles a bit, it's interesting to speculate who could take over directoral duties on the franchise if Michael Bay does not want to direct the next entry.
The following list represents who I think would be fun to have as a director on the next film. It's purely a wishlist and note meant to represent any type of formal announcement. There's no "right or wrong" there, just fun speculating. Directors are in the order of my personal priority. I've also included films you can watch to familiarize yourself with the director's style if you haven't seen them before. Enjoy!
|1. Steven Spielberg|
Most fans know that Spielberg is actually a producer on the "Transformers" films, but he took a much more active role in the original "Transformers" live action film, which many fans believed best captured the spirit of the "Transformers" franchise out of all the films so far. While fans can debate this, you can't deny the touch of relatable humanity granted to the film by Spielberg's concept of the move revolving around "a boy and his car". This brings a level of humanity to the film that I think has since been lost to a large degree. Spielberg is of course an accomplished director so visually he would bring a grand, sweeping style to the film with a bit more elegance that would contrast greatly with Bay's more abrupt style.
Films to watch: The Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Minority Report
Photo from IMDB.
|2. Guillermo Del Toro|
Part of the challenge Bay had with the "Transformers" franchise is that he was not familiar with it to start, and even after learning about the toys and history of the line, he wound making the Transformers fit his vision more than trying to adapt the vision for the big screen. The result is sometimes a bit jarring (and not in a good way). The counterpoint to this would be a director like Del Toro, who is a devout geek who was overcome with emotion seeing a giant Gundam statue in Japan. He even attended a Botcon many years ago (where I got to meet him!). If you need more proof that he loves giant robots, he made a whole movie about them fighting Kaiju. Del Toro is not afraid of odd subject matter and is a pro at action. He would make an amazing "Transformers" film.
Films to watch: Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Blade 2, Pan's Labyrinth
Photo from The Gainesville Sun.
|3. James Cameron|
If you're a science fiction fan, you probably don't need any explanation as to why James Cameron would be good for "Transformers". He loves pushing the envelope of special effects, he isn't afraid to try new things on film and he has created some of the most memorable science fiction and action films of the past thirty years including The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies and Avatar. He takes science fiction seriously and would bring a certain dark sensability to the "Transformers" franchise without necesarily making the Autobots a bunch of jerks. Imagine if Optimus and his crew were like Hicks and the Marines in Aliens? Awesome right?
Films to watch: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, Avatar
Photo from IMDB.
|4. Brad Bird|
As a director, Brad Bird doesn't have a ton of titles under his belt - but what he lacks in quantity he makes up for in quality. His first feature film "The Iron Giant" had shades of the Bumblebee/Sam relationship in it (but did it much, much better). Through that film and others like The Incredibles he has shown that he can balance a fantasy based set of characters with a dramatic story that has lots of heart. I believe he would really add an emotional punch that has been missing from the last three live action "Transformers" films. From a visual point of view he set up some amazing action sequences in The Incredibles, but if you're looking for live action cred, check out Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol for some amazing visuals.
Films to watch: The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Photo from IMDB.
|5. Justin Lin|
When the "Fast & the Furious" franchise needed a new direction, it was director Justin Lin who was brought in to breathe life into the series, and he did just that. Since 2006 he has headed the franchise and turned it into a series of films that is currently on its seventh entry (though Lin has exited the series with its sixth installment). Lin was able to reinvent the series about street racing and turn it into essentially a superhero series featuring near indestructible heroes driving awesome cars fighting nasty villains. Imagine car chases like those seen in the "Fast" films but with transforming robots! He could also help make the Autobots and Decepticons more than just generic characters who spout odd dialogue and make them into endearing characters we either want to root for or hate. His ability to distill the essence of pre-existing characters while finding a new direction would make him a timely entry into the series which just underwent a "soft reboot" with Age of Extinction.
Films to watch: The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast Five
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter.