The Transformers movies probably have to go down in history as one of cinema’s biggest disappointments. Spielberg executive producing, years of history, well-loved characters, a built-in fan-base, and a director famous for big action set pieces and explosions. Yet somehow it never really managed to drag itself, as a franchise, out of the “average” bracket with a few entries being downright risible.

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However it is too big a property to be allowed to sit idle for long, so Paramount and Hasbro are dusting off the world of the Autobots and Decepticons for another go-around. A new standalone Transformers is in the works.

Marco Ramirez was showrunner at Netflix on Marvel’s The Defenders and will write the script here. Charm City Kings Angel Manuel Soto will direct.

It will be a new story, not a sequel. It will not be connected to the five Michael Bay movies or the Travis Knight version of Bumblebee.

What does this mean for the Steven Caple Jr.-directed sixth film in the existing franchise, or the animated prequel from Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley? Well, let’s just say it doesn’t look good. Either that or somebody has looked at the mess that is the DCEU over at Warner Bros. with its mass timelines and sidebar canon/non-canon entries and related but unrelated TV shows and decided that is the model to follow.