×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Transformers’ sequel sets 2009 date

Paramount, Dreamworks expect Bay to return

Paramount and DreamWorks are holding the date of June 26, 2009, for “Transformers 2,” with Michael Bay expected to return to direct the sequel.

Despite the tensions between them, DreamWorks and Par have plenty of incentive to move forward with the next installment in the budding franchise. “Transformers,” starring Shia LaBeouf and based on the toy robot line, has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide, giving DreamWorks its first live-action franchise.

Still, the high-profile project isn’t guaranteed total immunity from the ongoing battle of wills between DreamWorks’ David Geffen and Steven Spielberg and leadership at Paramount conglom Viacom.

The studios stressed that they are targeting the June 26 date, but that it isn’t ironclad.

Even if Spielberg and Geffen exit their deal at Par, as they have threatened to do, the “Transformers” property stays at the Melrose lot, as do all other DreamWorks projects.

“Transformers” was a passion project for Spielberg, with DreamWorks developing the project and taking the creative lead after partnering with Paramount (that was before Par bought DreamWorks).

Spielberg, who took an exec producer credit on “Transformers,” was closely involved with the film, including bringing Bay aboard to direct and LaBeouf to star. He’s expected to be involved in the sequel.

Bay has not yet inked a deal to helm the follow-up but is in the final stages of negotiation. With Bay’s involvement, LaBeouf is expected to return as well.

LaBeouf stars alongside Harrison Ford in Spielberg’s upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which opens May 22.

DreamWorks and Par are hoping to at least begin production on the “Transformers” sequel before a possible strike even if they have to finish after it.

Meanwhile, the “Transformers 2” date wasn’t the only noteworthy tweak to the release calendar.

Fox Searchlight has decided to move up the upcoming release of “The Savages,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, from Dec. 26 to Nov. 30. In its old date, the film would have gone up against Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

In its new slot, “Savages” will open in its limited run against Woody Allen’s “Cassandra’s Dream,” among other titles.

Looking to 2008, 20th Century Fox has decided to make sci-fi actioner “The Day the Earth Stood Still” a Christmas release and open the Keanu Reeves starrer on Dec. 12 instead of during the summer. Fox had dated the pic for May 9, but the movie, which hasn’t yet begun lensing, wouldn’t have been ready. In addition, Fox has three other summer pics.

(Tatiana Siegel contributed to this report.)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Jack Ryan

    Richard Rutkowski on ‘Jack Ryan,’ Costa-Gavras and Being Nice Abroad

    TORUN, Poland – Speaking at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival on Monday, Richard Rutkowski praised the work of Costa-Gavras, offered sage advice for filmmakers working internationally, and offered a glimpse of the fast-paced work faced by cinematographers on high-profile TV series. Rutkowski, whose credits include “Jack Ryan,” “Castle Rock” and “The Americans,” discussed the methods, [...]

  • 'Honeyland' DP on Low-Fi Shooting With

    'Honeyland' DP on Low-Fi Shooting With High-Powered Storytelling

    Filming the Sundance-awarded “Honeyland” in a remote North Macedonia locale without roads or electricity, it was easy to get lost, confesses cinematographer Fejmi Daut. “It was too hard to decide what would be the storyline in the beginning,” said the debut DP, speaking at the 27th EnergaCamerimage cinematography festival in Torun, Poland. The editing process [...]

  • Q A_Joker_Lawrence-Sher_CKK-Jordanki_fot-Maria-Kowalska_11

    'Joker’ Cinematographer on Joaquin Phoenix’s Transformative Performance

    TORUN, Poland – “Joker” cinematographer Lawrence Sher received a rockstar welcome at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival on Monday as attendees struggled to squeeze into a standing-room only conference room for a lively and in-depth Q&A session on the making of the box office sensation. Sher appeared equally excited to be at the event. “Obviously [...]

  • Igor Drljaca, Agata Smoluch Del Sorbo

    Verve Signs 'Disappearance at Clifton Hill' Director Albert Shin (EXCLUSIVE)

    Verve has signed Albert Shin, the director of the buzzy new thriller “Disappearance at Clifton Hill,” Variety has learned. Distribution rights for the film were recently acquired by IFC Midnight and the movie is expected to open in February. “Disappearance at Clifton Hill” debuted at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. It centers on a [...]

  • John Bailey

    John Bailey Urges Cinematographers to Embrace Story Over Technology

    It’s safe to say John Bailey does not miss the trappings of the president’s office at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Speaking at a retrospective celebrating his five decades of cinematography work at Poland’s EnergaCamerimage festival, where Bailey will be honored with a lifetime achievement award this week, he told an audience [...]

  • Justin Bieber Cupid Movie

    Justin Bieber Debuts First Look at 'Cupid' Movie

    Beware of cupid’s arrow. Justin Bieber unveiled a first-look photo for “Cupid,” his upcoming animated movie from Mythos Studios. The image sees a cartooned Bieber, who will voice the god of love, on the side of a cliff with the sun setting in the background. “Cupid” will tell the story of the eponymous mythical being [...]

  • Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award

    Robert De Niro will be honored with a SAG life achievement award. The legendary actor, who currently stars in Netflix’s “The Irishman” and Warner Bros.’ “Joker,” will receive the performers’ union’s top accolade at the 26th annual SAG Awards on Jan. 19 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The award is given annually to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content