With an Oscar-winning Pixar sequel under his belt, Toy Story 4 director Josh Cooley has been hired by Paramount Pictures for his next big assignment. Deadline reported that Cooley will be directing a theatrical animated Transformers prequel, produced by Hasbro and their newly-acquired subsidiary eOne.
This new animated interpretation of Transformers serves as an origin story set on the planet Cybertron, focusing on the relationship between Autobots leader Optimus Prime and Decepticons leader Megatron. The prequel’s universe will be separate from the live-action Michael Bay movies and Travis Knight’s Bumblebee spinoff.
Cooley teased his involvement with the ambitious project via his Twitter:
Prior to this prequel, there have existed three animated features based on pastTransformers generations. The most famous of those being the Generation 1-based The Transformers: The Movie from 1986, a cult favourite amongst fans. The other two include 1998’s Beast Wars II: Lio Convoy’s Close Call! (Japanese: ビーストウォーズII ライオコンボイ危機一髪!) based upon the Beast Wars II anime, and the Transformers Prime television film Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising from 2013.
Though interesting circumstances, Deadline stated that due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, progress on the prequel has been accelerated since social distancing is easier to apply to animated productions than live-action ones. Cooley is already overseeing the final script draft penned by Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari, the writing duo behind Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Speaking of which, Barrer & Ferrari are said to have worked on the script for several years, first conceived within a writers room aiming to expand the world of Transformers. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian of the Michael Bay films will serve as producers on the animated picture. The release date and animation provider are yet to be announced.