The post-credits for Bumblebee is a massive retcon of the previous movies, as it finds Bumblebee and Optimus Prime walking together in a forest before looking up to see seven more Autobots on their way to earth. The scene did a perfect job of exciting fans with the possibility of a sequel while also separating the movie from the previous Transformers films. With Autobots arriving well before the events of the first Transformers, we know that this must be an entirely new timeline. Though the scene signals the start of something new, it still leaves the actual direction of future sequels incredibly open. Bumblebee has proven that a different kind of Transformers movie can be successful and it would be awesome to see the franchise taken in a new direction.
7. MORE SOLO FILMS
One possible direction that the Transformers franchise can take is to branch out into solo films. One of the strongest aspects of Bumblebee was the focus on the titular character, and spending minimal time on all of the other autobots really allowed him to flourish on his own. The producers have hinted that they have been thinking about taking this route, starting with Optimus Prime. An Optimus Prime solo film could be the first in a long series of Transformers movies focused on one character, allowing each one their time to shine. Having Optimus Prime at the helm may also help boost box office numbers, as he is the most recognizable and will surely draw in a crowd.
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6. CYBERTRON PREQUEL
Bumblebee opens with an amazing sequence actually set on Cybertron, the Transformers’ homeworld. This sequence was a great addition to the movie, but also may have been paving the way for the next sequel. Travis Knight, director of Bumblebee, has stated that he would love to take the franchise in this direction. Having a prequel set on Cybertron would be a refreshing new take on the Transformers. So far all of the movies have been centered around Earth, and taking the action to space would give the franchise some distance from the Bay movies while also giving fans a glimpse into the background of the Transformers. Advancements in CGI have made this movie possible, as a Cybertron prequel would have to be completely computer animated.
5. CONTINUE WHERE BAY LEFT OFF
This option is probably best left in the past. Right now though Bumblebee retcons significant plot points of the Bay movies, it would still be possible to take the next movie back to the modern day and pick up where Transformers: The Last Knight left off. Though it is still possible, Bumblebee has shown that fans are looking for something new, and the Michael Bay movies should be left behind.
4. HARD REBOOT
Right now Bumblebee is officially a prequel of the franchise, with some of the continuity left in place while some has been retconned. One route could be to completely reboot Transformers with Bumblebee being a stand-alone film. This would take the Transformers back to the modern day with all of the previous movies never happening. Having the franchise be completely rebooted would allow the Transformers to start fresh and right the wrongs of the previous movies. The only downside would be trying to avoid confusion with fans with a reboot happening so quickly.
3. A DIRECT SEQUEL
One of the most obvious choices would be to follow up the critical success of Bumblebee with a direct sequel, picking up right where the post-credits left off with Bumblebee and Optimus Prime awaiting their arrival of the other Autobots. Having the Transformers remain in the '80’s to start their adventures on Earth would effectively be a complete reboot of the franchise as well, but Bumblebee would serve as the starting point. This would be a great way to use the positive reception of the movie and build on it, creating a new series of movies still centered around the lovable Transformer while bringing the rest of the Autobots into the action.
2. A HASBRO UNIVERSE
Paramount and Hasbro have been in talks for some time trying to replicate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hasbro envisions their own cinematic universe incorporating their most popular properties. Bumblebee could be Hasbro’s Iron Man, a single movie that kicks off something much larger. There are already plans in development for more G.I. Joe movies, and we could very well see them begin to tie the two franchises together. Eventually, other Hasbro properties like M.A.S.K. and Micronauts could be brought in as well. This is an exciting possibility because the popularity of Transformers and G.I. Joe could hold the universe together while allowing lesser known toys to be brought to screen.
1. Give The Franchise Some Time To Rest
While Bumblebee has been a huge success with critics and fans, it has been suffering at the box office. The solo Transformers film has drawn less money than had been hoped, and after Transformers: The Last Knight's disappointing draw it appears that audiences may be beginning to lose their interest in Transformers. By giving the franchise some time to rest, the Transformers could return in a couple of years when they start to be missed. Having this time off would also give them the opportunity to follow any of the possible options for the next entry in the Transformers franchise while still giving it a fresh feeling. Hopefully by taking a couple of years to return Transformers could also return to the box office dominance that the franchise is used to.