With the critically unexpected success of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, rumors about where the franchise is going next are starting to fly already.
Looking at the critical reviews, it feels like I’m the only reviewer who really liked the third Transformers film. Many reviewers are calling it dull and mindless. Even the studio wasn’t expecting much, as we saw them seriously low-ball the expectations for the box-office draw.
The audience has spoken however. The box-office for the film was fine, despite the negative reviews, and the film has one of the widest reviewer/audience score disparities I’ve ever seen on Rotten Tomatoes, the go-to site for film review aggregation.
The critic score is a measly 37% (2 stars) as of this writing, while the audience reviewer score is 90% (4.5 stars).
It’s usual to see the audience score about a star higher than the critics on blockbuster-style special effects films, but a 2.5 star disparity is extraordinary.
The film also broke the record books in Imax tickets sold, likely due mostly to the early Imax release – The film opened on Wednesday for Imax3D, and Thursday everywhere else.
I personally think we can count on seeing that trick used again on future effects-heavy films.
Due to this success, the rumors have been flying about the possible future of the franchise. The two most interesting originate over at Movieweb.com. They are thus:
Steven Spielberg may direct the fourth film. This is according to an interview MovieWeb published with Tyrese Gibson, who played Epps in all three films.
Also, Jason Statham may be up for the lead role in the next film. This MovieWeb attributes to “Rumblings” from Hollywood. They give an unattributed quote, apparently from a studio insider, "It's clear the franchise still has huge potential but with a new leading man capable of taking Transfomers 4 in a new, darker direction. Jason Statham could be just the man to do that and his relationship with Rosie would be an added bonus in marketing the movie."
However much of this is true, I think we can believe that the Transformers story is not over. This franchise still has plenty of steam, and they’ll keep making more right up until the point that it stops making money.