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Dispelling myths on 'Transformers' trilogy

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I've been reading news lately saying that two more Transformers have already been greenlit and that a production date has been set for the first sequel, all based on a misunderstanding of how contracts work. I need to set a few things straight, first being that it's standard practice to include options in all the principle players contracts for sequels on just about every film. They exist for the studios benefit, in case the first film does well, they have the cast locked in for a set price.

Without that, the cast could demand double their fee - or more - and hold the studio hostage over the sequel. It doesn't mean anything either way, it's the default thing done on most all productions.

If a date has been set for production of the sequel, that's likely just a stub to make sure nothing else is slated to start production during that time pending the release of this first film. It's basically the studio covering all its bases, something that would happen even if they thought this movie was going to bomb.

Once the returns come in and we can see how well the film does, everything else that has been setup before hand, the contract options, the hole in the studios schedule, all that is ready to go. That's all this is. If the first film flops, they will never make more of these.

And I want to be clear on this, I'm not predicting success or failure for this film (yet), just explaining how people are getting all excited over something that happens all the time. Relax, it's no guarantee. The best thing fans can do to ensure there will be sequels is to go see the movie, and bring three friends along. Nothing spurs sequels like profitable tent pole films.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.