“Paramount Pictures has a perception problem on its hands, with many Hollywood insiders disappointed that the studio and its“Transformers” brain trust led byMichael Bay and Akiva Goldsman have hired seven writers to expand the blockbuster franchise, all of whom are white males.
In March, Oscar winner Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind”) was hand-picked by his college buddy Bay to incubate ideas for the“Transformers” movie universe and oversee the process of hiring writers and assigning scripts.
On May 20, TheWrap reported that Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”), Zak Penn (“Pacific Rim 2”), Jeff Pinkner (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (“Iron Man”) were joining a writer’s room of sorts that was designed to ramp up output for the “Transformers” series. The announcement raised eyebrows at the time given the lack of diversity amongst the group, but it was understood that more writers would be hired. There was, at the very least, some hope.
One week later, Paramount hired two more writers, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, both of whom are also white males. They’ve reportedly been asked to script an animated“Transformers” origin story set on Cybertron, though they also plan to write a live-action spinoff as well.
In response to TheWrap’s inquiry, a studio spokesperson said Friday, “As its been reported elsewhere, there are others still to be announced that will also join this writers room. The studio does not comment on people’s deals before they have closed. However, a suggestion of a lack of diversity will not hold up after they are announced.”
Indeed, TheWrap has learned that at least one female writer is nearing a deal to join the writer’s room, and while her hiring will help balance the group in terms of gender, there still haven’t been any minority writers hired… yet…”