One thing to keep in mind in the age of coronavirus: While live-action movies are shut down all over the world, production continues on animated movies, where it’s much easier to socially distance and work from home. If the pandemic continues for a long time, we might see a significant increase in animated movies, as studios realize that’s one of the few things they can keep safely making and releasing.

Case in point: Deadline reports that Paramount and Hasbro are pushing ahead with a new animated Transformers movie, the first for the big-screen since the 1980s. The new film will reportedly be an “origin story” set on Cybertron, and focus on the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron.

The studio even has an Oscar-winning director working on the project — Josh Cooley, who recently wrapped directing (and getting an Academy Award for) Toy Story 4. Cooley is reportedly “overseeing a final draft with the writers now.” Those writers would be Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, who worked on both Ant-Man films for Marvel.

The last time the Transformers were released in animated form on the big screen was 1986, when The Transformers: The Movie was unleashed on an unsuspecting generation of young fans. While the Saturday morning Transformers cartoon was intended for audiences of all ages, the movie version was far more intense, and featured the deaths of most of the classic Transformers cast, including the beloved (sob) Optimus Prime. As the guy who made the genuinely troubling Toy Story 4, Cooley is uniquely qualified to continue this important legacy of terrorizing small children with transforming robots.

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