The trailer for The Last Knight also shows Optimus seemingly dead and adrift in space, suggesting that the film is borrowing a plot point from one of the previous Transformers animated TV shows in the aftermath of Prime’s death in the 1986 animated The Transformers: The Movie – where Optimus was resurrected as a mindless zombie-like ‘evil Optimus’, so to speak. That might not be the only direct connection between The Last Knight and the 1980s animated Transformers film either, based on speculation that the trailer also features an appearance by The Transformers: The Movie‘s baddie Unicron.
Bay’s The Last Knight is the first Transformers installment to be produced since Paramount put together a group of screenwriters to plot out ideas for future Transformers movie/spinoffs – known as, simply enough, the Transformers writing group. The expectation is that the Transformers movies that were plotted by the writing group will dive deeper into established Transformers lore and be more interconnected. If that holds true for The Last Knight, then the ‘evil Optimus’ from The Last Knight may turn out to be the live-action version of the evil incarnation of Optimus known as Nemesis Prime, from Transformers animated TV series past.
The Last Knight has certainly gotten an upgrade in the screenwriting department, with a screen story by Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) and screenplay co-written by Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), as well as Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Iron Man). If the screenwriters have succeeded in putting together a cohesive mythology to go with the larger-than-ever spectacle and action sequences from Bay, then the fifth Transformers movie could prove to be one of the better ones (the best one?) yet.