The 'Transformers' movie franchise has lasted longer than most people ever expected. Despite critically-panned sequels and losing the original main human actor halfway through, fans have spent enough money to make Transformers a billion dollar movie franchise. Up next is a spin-off movie based on the popular Bumblebee and the studio has chosen an Oscar-nominated director to helm the movie with Travis Knight, the man who made the 2016 animated film "Kubo and the Two Strings."

'Transformers' franchise rolls on

The first "Transformers" movie hit theaters in 2007, and while it didn't win any critics awards, was mostly a fun and entertaining summer blockbuster.

However, as the years went on, sequels came that critics tore into for going heavy on CGI and light of storyline. Despite that, fans loved the movies about robots in disguise and kept the franchise rolling. The second movie made $836 million worldwide and the third broke $1.1 billion in box office.

Changing the human lead in 'Transformers'

After that third "Transformers" movie, Shia LeBouf stepped out of the lead role and Mark Wahlberg replaced him. It was an immediate boost when it came to the fact that Wahlberg is a fan favorite and LeBeouf was falling on hard times. The first movie with Wahlberg was "Transformers: Age of Extinction." It was the worst performing of the four movies in North America, but made another $1.1 billion worldwide.

This year, the fifth movie comes in "Transformers: The Last Knight," which is supposed to be the final movie in the main series.

Bumblebee getting a 'Transformers' movie of his own

While Shia LeBeouf and Mark Wahlberg were the human leads and Optimus Prime was the leader of the Transformers, it was Bumblebee that was the main robot that fans related to from the start.

He was the car that LeBeouf's character drove and is the most recognizable of all the Transformers after four movies. Now, fans will get a Bumblebee movie and "Kubo and the Two Strings" director Travis Knight will direct it. While it seems like a strange choice for a movie, Knight created one of the finest animated movies of all time with "Kubo" and if anyone can bring Bumblebee to the forefront as a sympathetic character, it is Knight.