By Devan Coggan
February 16, 2016 at 07:27 PM EST
Industrial Light & Magic
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Just a few days ago, Paramount unveiled the release dates for the fifth, sixth, and seventh movies in the Transformers series, with a new one dropping each year beginning in 2017. Michael Bay had previously confirmed that he’ll direct Transformers 5 — his last in the series — but little was known about the sixth and seventh installment.

Now, Paramount has confirmed that the sixth movie will be a spin-off starring Bumblebee, the bright-yellow Autobot who can turn into a Chevrolet Camaro.

“There are characters in the Transformers universe that can and should be made into their own movies,” Paramount Pictures chairman and CEO Brad Grey told The Hollywood Reporter. “We will make the first movie with Michael and go right into a Bumblebee movie, which will be at a lower cost.”

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner also discussed the next three movies in a presentation to investors last week, saying that after the Bumblebee spin-off, the seventh movie would be another general Transformers story. Last year, Goldner hinted at the possibility of more Transformers spin-offs, including a standalone Bumblebee movie.

Paramount and Hasbro had previously assembled an extensive writers room — including Robert Kirkman, who created The Walking Dead, and Steven DeKnight, the showrunner for Daredevil — to generate ideas for future Transformers movies.

“We’ve brought in a pretty strong writing staff run by Akiva Goldsman, and they have put together eight or nine interesting stories,” Grey told THR. “So, between that group and Steven Spielberg’s guidance on a story level, these characters are a big business for us to pursue.”

The Bay-directed Transformers 5 is scheduled to hit theaters on June 23, 2017, with the Bumblebee standalone slated for June 8, 2018, and Transformers 7 due out on June 28, 2019. 

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