New 'Transformers' Movies in the Works With 'Zodiac,' 'Army of the Dead' Writers

Bumblebee_Joby Harold and James Vanderbilt_Split - Photofest - H 2020
Paramount Pictures/Photofest; Tasia Wells/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Paramount and Hasbro are pursuing concurrent development as they seek to expand the war between Autobots and Decepticons.

Paramount and Hasbro are rebuilding Transformers, hiring not one but two writers to pen scripts for the multibillion-dollar film franchise.

Joby Harold, who co-wrote the upcoming Zack Snyder zombie movie Army of the Dead, and James Vanderbilt, perhaps best known for writing David Fincher’s Zodiac, have been tapped to pen separate scripts as the companies pursue concurrent development.

The move comes over a year since the December 2018 release of the last Transformers-related pic, Bumblebee. That outing, a 1980s-set spinoff focusing on one of most popular characters, was the most critically acclaimed Transformers movie, although it generated the least of the entries ($468 million worldwide).

The film series — which launched with 2007's Transformers, starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox and directed by Michael Bay — hit box office highs with 2011’s Dark of the Moon and 2014’s Age of Extinction, both of which made over $1.1 billion.

Takes on the direction of the new projects were not revealed, but Paramount and Hasbro see the hires as giving the franchise a chance to build out multiple arcs and to also expand the Transformers universe. The toy brand's underlying storyline is the seemingly never-ending battle between the good robots-who-can-turn-into-cars, Autobots, and the wicked robots-who-can-turn-into-military-hardware, Decepticons.

Harold wrote Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and worked on John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. He is repped by Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and Goodman Schenkman.

Vanderbilt’s most recent credit was Netflix’s Adam Sandler hit Murder Mystery. He also co-wrote the Andrew Garfield-starring Amazing Spider-Man movies and penned and directed the newsroom drama Truth starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford. Vanderbilt is repped by UFUSE Management and McKuin Frankel.