For better or worse, the Transformers movies have become a part of our pop culture for the past decade-or-so. But it looks like one of the franchise's former stars doesn't think it has any lasting effect.
In a recent interview with Esquire, Shia LaBeouf briefly spoke about his work in the first three Transformers films, which saw him play Sam Witwicky. LaBeouf started out by saying that he wishes no ill will on those who brought him into the franchise, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg.
“Michael and Steven did a lot for me." LaBeouf explained. "I’m not going to pooh-pooh those dudes anymore."
But as LaBeouf argued, the Transformers films do not have any staying power, compared to the more creatively-driven films being put out year after year.
"My hang-up with those films was that they felt irrelevant." LaBeouf revealed. "They felt dated as f***... You come up on these stories about Easy Rider and Raging Bull and De Niro and Scorsese and Hopper, and you find value in what they do. Meanwhile, you’re chasing energon crystals. It’s very hard to keep doing what you’re doing when you feel like it’s the antithesis of your purpose on this planet.”
And according to LaBeouf, having a role in that franchise at such a young age had a very unusual effect on him, and on the attitude of those around him.
"[I felt like I was] living in a gilded cage." LaBeouf added. "No one gives a fuck about your problems. Everybody’s like, ‘Hey, man, you’re riding the wave!’"
In a way, audiences have grown to hold a similar sentiment over the years, especially after the response to Transformers: The Last Knight. While some spinoff films - mainly a Bumblebee prequel film - are currently trucking along, Bay's main writers room for the franchise was disbanded last year.
That being said, it sounds like the Transformers franchise isn't entirely down for the count, or at least isn't in danger of a reboot. But according to Bay, The Last Knight did offer plenty of storytelling possibilities for future films.
"If you watch it closely," Bay explained last summer, "there are a lot of ways that this movie can go from here. So it's basically like a launching board for wherever the series will continue."
Do you share LaBeouf's sentiment about the Transformers franchise? Where would you like to see future movies go from here? Sound off in the comments below.