From: TheGuardian (UK) article Posted: 19 April 2018 12:38:13A decade ago, director John Howe put Transformers: Prime as a movie idea in a drawer, after he felt it was “not really what we had in mind” to make.
The movie is about an all-female, robot-powered Autobot team that travels to Cybertron in a quest to save Earth from the Decepticons.
In his original script, Howe imagined a “battleground” between Autobots and Decepticon forces, but he was never sure how he could get the story of a female Autobot squad through the film’s clunky plot.
“The main problem I had was that it felt too much like an action movie,” Howe says.
“It had too many shots of them running.
It didn’t feel like a movie I was going to watch.”
The team, including the leader of the team, Bumblebee, is introduced in the opening scenes, when they are all dressed up as heroes.
“We all thought that we were going to have a female protagonist, but we didn’t want to do that,” Howe recalls.
“I thought that would make it easier for people to identify with us as women.”
But the film has since been reworked several times and now has a female lead in Bumblebees role, as well as a female scientist and a female engineer, which has “made it feel a little bit more like a film where it was more of a superhero film,” he says.
In the first version of the script, the female Autobots are a team of male Autobots that are “strong and powerful” who are “not necessarily as strong as the men in the team”.
The film’s script had Bumblebeys character called “Avalanche”, but Howe changed it because “he was so good at it”.
“When I got to the point where I had to rewrite the script and figure out what the story was, it was really hard to do,” Howe explains.
“I was thinking, ‘I can’t be doing that’.
I have a lot of respect for women, but I think that I would have been a better director if I could just not have women in my movies.”
When you have female characters in your movies, they usually get their own names and things like that, but they’re not always in the film, so it’s really hard for me to figure out how to keep them.
“If I could have made that movie, I’d have had to put them in their own separate movie.
It would have felt a bit like a bad sequel.”
As a result, Howe’s script was reworked a few times over the years, and in 2013, he decided to take a break from directing and re-visit the project.
“There’s no doubt that we’ve all been disappointed with the script,” he recalls.
“One of the problems with the original was that there was too much action, too much fighting.
I had all these female characters fighting.
There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m not saying that they should be in a fight scene.
But we needed a break.
I felt like the film would have worked better with a little more of an action element.”
The studio then re-edited the script for a sequel, with Bumble and BumbleBee, the male Autobot, and the female scientist, named Bumble, being introduced together.
The first film also has a woman as the protagonist, and it is also one of the few Transformers films to have female lead characters, with the female scientists being introduced later in the story.
“It’s a very difficult film to work on,” Howe admits.
“You have to work hard on it.
You have to take the risks.
We were very lucky to have the success of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”