Don’t think that just because Michael Bay is done with making Transformers films that the franchise will quietly fade away. (Not that the franchise did anything quietly.) With the three films having already brought in close to $1 billion at the box office, you can be sure that producers will want to continue this particular cash cow for some time to come.
Yesterday, the franchise’s producer Don Murphy stated that the series wouldn’t start over again, but would continue forward from the last film. And of course, he stated this with his typical Don Murphy irascibility –
What happens next? Certainly not a reboot. We haven’t lost the Transformers. They didn’t grow up or become expensive like Toby Maguire. I don’t know what happens next. I’m pretty sure there will be a second trilogy. I am pretty sure it will kick ass. And I am pretty sure some of you will hate it because it wasn’t all bots.
No matter how the series moves forward though, it will be without Shia LaBeouf. The actor told the Associated Press back when the film was opening –
I’m done. I’m sure they’ll make more of them, it’s still a very hot franchise, there’s still value in it. I think people will still go to see it. I just don’t know if I have anything to contribute.
My own snide comments about the quality of LaBeouf’s contributions to the franchise so far, I wouldn’t bet the rent that this is the last we’ve seen of Sam Whitwicky in the series. Perhaps a writer will come up with something for the character that would lure LaBeouf back for another film. Even more likely is that they’ll wave a big paycheck in front of his face.