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Feb 9th 2019 at 9:39:06 PM •••

So, this keeps getting removed:

  • God Never Said That:
    • Due to the film being seen as a Soft Reboot, some have spread the fact Travis Knight confirmed it was set in the same continuity as the Michael Bay films in order to dismiss the idea that its a complete reboot. However, this \'confirmation\' comes from a single video where Knight discussed the character design of the movie, and how they had to keep \"some degree of\" continuity with the past movies\' aesthetic. While this is pretty loose wording in itself to indicate its status as \'in-continuity\', what\'s ignored is that they did this prior to the film\'s reshoots, which as detailed bellow, greatly downplayed continuity with the prior films and provide a new backstory for the Transformers being on earth. Before those, the film was just a prequel that was in-continuity with them, but had since been rewritten to be a stand-alone work. Though this doesn\'t mean the film isn\'t a prequel, it does mean that its not definitely a prequel either.
    • Likewise, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura was also quoted denying it was a reboot. What he actually said was that he dislikes the term \'reboot\', but saw the movie as a new start for the franchise and that subsequent films would follow on from it in terms of tone and style. He never said it wasn\'t a reboot, and his description pretty much describes what is generally referred to as a Soft Reboot.

Having been looking for evidence to the contrary, I\'ve not found any interviews outside the two referenced above that have been used to \'confirm\' its status as solely a prequel.

Firstly, the Travis Knight comments being cited refer to the video linked to in this article: Every other source I\'ve found concerning him saying its in-continuity links back to this same video, and the article itself demonstrates the God Never Said That point; it takes his words to say its in-continuity and not a reboot, while ignoring that his comments aren\'t about film continuity but design continuity, and overlook the aforementioned fact the film was rewritten after these designs were developed to separate it from the Bay films\' history. (By contrast, the interview in this article ( has the interviewee explicitly call it a reboot, and he doesn\'t correct this at all)

The Bonaventura quote concerning reboots is taken from this interview: As above, every other article concerning him saying its not a reboot quotes this interview, but as said above, that\'s NOT what he\'s saying, but that he doesn\'t like the term reboot, but it really just comes off as Blackmail Is Such An Ugly Word since he describes a Soft Reboot being their goal.

There is the issue of Megatron, where Travis Knight\'s confirmed having twice had scenes where he would have appeared but ultimately cut. One was a direct reference to the prior movies they cut as part of rewrites to downplay that, and the other was omitting him from the Cybertron sequence. However, while he was omitted from that because it would contradict the idea he was frozen on earth at the time, that alone doesn\'t confirm its explicitly not a reboot. It literally just means they were taking one plot point from the initial movie as canon for this film as well.

That\'s kind of the issue. People are taking these tiny grains to be explicit confirmation that the film is definitely a prequel and, basically, tell people to stop calling it a reboot, but none of this is actually hard statements saying that. They make it sound like they\'d gone on record telling people it is definitely not a reboot, and they simply haven\'t.

Tropers/Clifftothemax keeps saying that there are other interviews that say its a prequel and not a reboot, but he\'s not linked to any, so its just taking his word that they exist and that those are the ones people are talking about, and not the ones above.

Again, the issue isn\'t that this means it is a reboot, its that there isn\'t any official confirmation either way that the film is and will definitely remain in-canon with the prior movies. People are using the above to say that no, the film is definitely not a reboot, but that\'s not what they\'ve said in those above interviews. That makes it God Never Said That.

If there are other interviews? Fine, link me to where they\'ve said it. I\'ll accept that and move on. But its ridiculous to insist they definitely said so in interviews when I can\'t seem to find anywhere, or to pretend that those are the ones that people are talking about.

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Feb 10th 2019 at 3:31:43 AM •••

I can\'t speak for others but these interviews are the ones I\'m talking about.

Travis Knight explicitly points out the Megatron issue of why he couldn\'t include a scene he really wanted to put into the film. The interview is dated the 19th of December, after the film had first been released for previews (for the record, I myself saw the film on the 15th at my local cinema) and notably after all of the revisions that the film is now known to have gone through would have long since been put into place.

It\'s why I point out this one in particular, because he is *not* talking purely about design elements here, but also story continuity, which given the revisions the film went through (and notably this interview was published long after those would have taken place) is why it deserves mention, because it contradicts the God Never Said That portion of Knight never saying it was a prequel. Him mentioning he couldn\'t put Megatron into the film because it would cause a Continuity Snarl does mean he *has* referred to the film as an explicit prequel before. He also stresses keeping connective tissue to the Michael Bay films whilst adding in the 80s aesthetic here. Basically, trying to keep to the same universe whilst being free to do his own thing.

The interview you posted regarding the design choices I\'ve read and watched as well, but it has very specific choice of words, notably; \"We set the film 20 years prior to the events of the first film, but so-we still needed some degree of continuity there.\"

If he\'s *not* talking about story continuity, then that is a very specific sentence to utter out loud. He could have just described it as being set in the 80s for example, but he didn\'t. That\'s why his words matter in this regard. He didn\'t have to phrase it that way, especially as there would be no need for any degree of continuity if he wasn\'t being fully honest about the film\'s status. Things like this have happened regarding Transformers properties before, notably with interviews regarding Transformers War For Cybertron and its sequel, where they describe it happening before the 80s cartoon. However *there* they were talking about inspiration and design choices.

But the other interview in particular is far more specific.

Here Lorenzo di Bonaventura contests the notion that the film isn\'t a prequel in any sense. Even debating a 1% margin for error. Whilst I\'m not sure I agree with that, that is his word on the subject. Put it this way, the word \"reboot\" tends to get used pretty interchangeably in modern media these days. Its one of the reasons we have the term Soft Reboot, because often a film will be described as a \"reboot\" when it isn\'t a Continuity Reboot. That\'s what Bonaventura was getting at by saying he doesn\'t like the term because he doesn\'t think people know what it means. People use the term loosely. And it should be noted, in the Breakfast Time interview, the interviewer is using \"reboot\" in that sense.

That\'s one reason I mentioned X Men First Class in the edit and added it to the page, because that film can be counted as a Soft Reboot, and yet its still a prequel to the other films. When that film was released, debates arose as to whether that was a prequel or a Continuity Reboot as well (and yes I participated in those) with people arguing it was a reboot despite Mystique\'s visual design, Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Romjin making cameos etc. Funnily enough, just like Bumblebee the first teaser used audio/visual cues from the first film of the series (in First Class\'s case, showing images of Xavier and Magneto from the first film, with Bumblebee it was Bobby Bolivia\'s car speech).

Essentially, when people say that the film has been referred to as a prequel in explicit terms, they\'re not exactly wrong. That\'s what I\'m contesting. This could end up being Flip Flop Of God. It could end up being Shrug Of God. It could end up being a case of Lying Creator.

Now whether anything will settle that moving forward is unclear, as other comments have Bonaventura admit that he\'s uncertain about how to handle Unicron, essentially leaving things uncertain whether they\'ll ever return to the plot-point from the end of the Bay films.

But yeah, whether the film does or doesn\'t end up being a prequel or a reboot, as far as everything goes I wouldn\'t say God Never Said That applies

Edited by Clifftothemax
Feb 10th 2019 at 9:09:59 AM •••

OK then, thank you for actually providing links here.

Regarding the first one, that does seem to describe these decisions coming up during the production of the movie, not necessarily after the rewrites had happened. But, I\'ll acknowledge that\'s probably nitpicking or grasping at straws.

The second I\'ll content he does try to explain how it can fit into the other films, though the way he\'s talking about it does remind me a lot of the time Avi Arad tried to explain how the Amazing Spider-Man movies could fit in-continuity with the Raimi films. But, that still fits somewhat with what people are saying he says, even if it just makes him sound like he\'s not quite sure what they\'re doing.

I do think God Never Said That still applies in Knight\'s case though. People are treating these words as if he\'s made a hard declaration that the film is *only* a prequel. The way those statements are being described makes it sound like he came out and told people it is not going to be a reboot, but that\'s not actually what he said, he just talked about some decisions they made during production to fit it somewhat with the Bay films in a Broad Strokes sense. Its not \'confirmation its in continuity\' so much as \'confirmation they didn\'t want it to be *too* different\'

The Bonaventura one I\'ll concede isn\'t a case, though.

Feb 12th 2019 at 4:40:23 PM •••

I\'ll admit in Knight\'s case his words can be open to some form of interpretation, but the knowledge that this film was once a *hard* prequel makes it somewhat more difficult to do that or dismiss a literal interpretation.

Same thing with Bonaventura\'s comments. I personally wouldn\'t be surprised if his words at some point end up being wrong, but that also marks the difference between him and comments like Avi Arad\'s, since that film was well-known for being a Continuity Reboot made in-part to hold onto the rights, which isn\'t exactly the case here.

Feb 16th 2019 at 1:43:16 PM •••

So its only somewhat related to the main point of discussion, but at a Transformers panel at Toy Fair 2019, it was apparently announced that Bumblebee is officially a \'new storytelling universe\'. Its noted here, though I\'m going to try and find a video of the panel for proper confirmation.

I don\'t think this necessarily disproves Bonaventura\'s comments and I\'ll concede that at the very least, it seems he didn\'t want it to be a reboot (which fits with some things I\'ve seen Knight talk about having people be against him wanting to take the franchise in such a different direction), however I think it does contradict the interpretation that Knight was ever explicitly saying the film wasn\'t a reboot.

I think it might be grounds for Flip Flop Of God, but I think to some extent, God Never Said That is in-tact because as said, Knight didn\'t say the movie wasn\'t a reboot, just he made some choices based on not wanting to contradict the prior plans.

Feb 17th 2019 at 2:25:24 AM •••

I\'d personally say Flip Flop Of God is the best option, since it does seem that no-one was exactly certain of what they wanted this movie to be until its release. Started out as a prequel/received alterations to loosen that status/had people hesitant to call it a reboot even after those alterations became clear etc.

I suppose we\'ll need to know a bit more to know whether Bonaventura\'s comments are completely misinformed (in which case, Lying Creator might be in effect), but this recent announcement does seem to lean towards that direction.

Feb 17th 2019 at 8:06:03 AM •••

Based on what I can gather, Bonaventura has a reputation for not really knowing what he\'s talking about, so I guess he probably thought it was definitely a prequel and Hasbro themselves overruled him. Again, much like when Arad tried to claim the Amazing Spider-Man movies were in-continuity with the Raimi movies, or when Amy Pascal tried to claim Venom was definitely part of the MCU; producers don\'t necessarily know what it is actually going on.

Either way, something like this should do:

  • Flip Flop Of God: The film\'s status has gone back and forth on if its a prequel to the Michael Bay movies or a complete continuity reboot of the franchise. It started production as a prequel, but during post-production the movie got overhauled and rewritten to be looser connected to the past movies, indicating it was being repackaged as a reboot. Comments by producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura indicated it was still a prequel, before eventually Hasbro themselves confirmed at a Fan Media Panel at Toy Fair 2019 the film was the start of a \"new storytelling universe\", confirming it was indeed a full reboot.

Feb 20th 2019 at 5:11:46 AM •••

Oh I\'m well aware Bonaventura has a habit of making inaccurate statements. Just that the production history of this film made it somewhat more difficult to dismiss this one off-hand. Like, everyone knew Avi Arad was talking nonsense, and it felt like Amy Pascal was trying to play her cards regarding Venom (and one only had to look at Kevin Feige\'s reaction to see how that went) but here it was a little less clear. But yeah, that sounds good to me.

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