EXCL: Di Bonaventura on Transformers Sequel and G.I. Joe!

On July 2 at 8pm, Hasbro’s robots in disguise Transformers will be hitting the big screen with all of the impact and force of a Michael Bay action flick, but in the last few days, Peter Cullen, who voices Optimus Prime the leader of the Autobots, has been telling people that he’s been told to keep some time free for a possible sequel.

When Superhero Hype! had a chance to talk with mega-producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Constantine, Four Brothers), we asked him whether thoughts of a sequel are already being tossed around, to which point he laughed heartily and replied, “I would say all of us were very reluctant to even think about it, because that’s a presumption of success that none of us really want to make. Now that we’ve seen the film finished, now that the audience has told us that they love it when they see it, now that it feels like we have a successful entry a month from now, we’ve begun to talk about the ideas that we feel we can bring from the mythology that we didn’t get a chance to do in this movie and the ideas in this movie that we’d like to experiment further with. There’s no plotline, there’s no writer hired. It’s really internal to the filmmakers sort of going, ‘You know what? We really love this and what about this?’ I would say we’re throwing ideas around right now in the hopes that we get to that place where we can sit down with a writer and really talk about it.”

One would expect it would at least be easier to do a sequel now that they’ve designed and worked out how to create the Transformers for the movie. “From a production point of view, it is; from a script point of view, how do you take it forward?” the producer said. “Shia certainly feels like he’s leaving high school at the end of this movie or feels like he’s matured to that place, so where do you take him? It was a lot of questions that we have to ask ourselves that will be satisfying and interesting for us to try to put forward and for the audience to get on board. From a technical point of view, yes, Michael and ILM solved a lot of the most daunting technical issues, but knowing Michael and knowing all of us on it, we’re going to create new ones for ourselves and have to figure out those, too.”

We also talked with Di Bonaventura about the other Hasbro toyline which he’s been involved with even before he started working on Transformers, that being a movie based on a real American hero, G.I. Joe. Having been around for decades without ever being the basis of a major movie, we wondered if that was closer to happening. “I hope so,” he told us. “I love the property and I love the characters of it. There’s a couple challenges that it presents. One is that because it’s been around so many decades and because it has so many different heritages in a way, the ’80s Joe is not as familiar to the people who grew up with it before. It was more simplistic before, frankly. It didn’t have that richness, so one of the challenges we’re facing in trying to get it made into the movie is how do you integrate that emotional connection that before the ’80s had to Joe to the ’80s version of Joe, which is a much richer mythology and characters and a lot of things that have been worked out and worked on successfully? The first challenge is to figure out common values between those two time periods of Joe, and I think Transformers and X-Men and several of the properties of the last year that have been and will be successful hopefully are making our case to make Joe into a movie.”

Look for more with Mr. di Bonaventura sometime next week, as we talk with him about his big summer movies Transformers and Stardust, which open on July 3 and August 10, respectively.

Source: Edward Douglas