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Paramount plans to follow Michael Bay‘s “Transformers 5” with a spinoff movie centred around Bumblebee, it was announced Tuesday by the studio’s chairman/CEO, Brad Grey.

Last week, Paramount dated three “Transformers” movies for June 2017, June 2018 and June 2019. The film released in June 2018 will be the “Bumblebee” spinoff, which will be made on a significantly lower budget than past “Transformers” movies, according to Grey.

Hollywood used to be comfortable waiting two or three years before churning out sequels but the market has grown so competitive that studios can’t afford to have their best franchises laying dormant for 24 months. The pipeline needs to be filled each year to keep the momentum going.

Marvel, DC, and now Lucasfilm deliver at least one tent-pole title from the marquee movie universes each calendar year. For “Transformers” to compete with its current rivals, Paramount has to ramp up production, and as seen with “Deadpool,” spinoff movies are one way to do that.

With his distinct yellow colour and sense of humour, Bumblebee has been a favourite among “Transformers” fans, especially toy collectors — so it makes sense that Paramount would pick that character to star in his own spinoff movie.

“Transformers” executive producer Steven Spielberg and Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman are guiding the next chapter of Paramount’s most lucrative franchise, which will have to get creative to succeed on a smaller scale.

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