Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film based on the franchise of the same name. The film, which combines computer animation with live-action filming, was directed by Michael Bay, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. It was produced by Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto, and is the first installment in the live-action Transformers film series.
The film stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager who gets caught up in a war between the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery, primarily vehicles. The Autobots intend to retrieve and use the AllSpark, the powerful artifact that created their robotic race that is on Earth, to rebuild their home planet Cybertron and end the war, while the Decepticons have the intention of using it to build an army by giving life to the machines of Earth. Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Megan Fox, Rachael Taylor, John Turturro, and Jon Voight also star, while voice actors Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving voice Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.
Murphy and DeSanto developed the project in 2003, and DeSanto wrote a treatment. Steven Spielberg came on board the following year, hiring Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to write the screenplay. The U.S. Armed Forces and General Motors (GM) loaned vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes. Hasbro's promotional campaign for the film included deals with various companies; advertising included a viral marketing campaign, coordinated releases of prequel comic books, toys, and books, as well as product placement deals with companies such as GM, Burger King, and eBay.
Transformers was released theatrically in the United States on July 3, 2007. The film became the fifth highest-grossing film of 2007, grossing $709 million worldwide, with an estimated 46 million tickets sold in the US. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the visual effects, musical score, action sequences, LaBeouf's performance, and Peter Cullen's reprisal as Optimus Prime, while criticism aimed at the Transformer redesigns, the screen time for certain characters, and use of product placement. The film won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. The film was followed by four sequels: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Dark of the Moon (2011), Age of Extinction (2014), and The Last Knight (2017), as well as a spin-off titled Bumblebee (2018). A seventh installment Rise of the Beasts is scheduled to be released in 2023.