Josh Cooley is to direct a ‘Transformers’ animated prequel.

The ‘Toy Story 4’ filmmaker will be helming an origin story that will be set on the planet Cybertron, the planet where the living robots come from.

The story is set to focus on the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron, the future leaders of the Autobots and the Decepticons.

The project is separate from the live-action ‘Transformers’ series and ‘Bumblebee’ spin-off and will exist outside the franchise timeline.

It is suggested that studios are likely to focus on animated movies as the industry restarts production following the coronavirus pandemic. It is easier to make an animated film as much of the production can be completed whilst social distancing.

The script has been penned by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, whose previous credits include ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, and they are currently working with Josh on a final draft of the script.

Development on the film dates back to 2015, when Barrer and Ferrari joined a writing room organised by Paramount Pictures to develop ideas for the ‘Transformers’ franchise.

Josh made his directorial debut with ‘Toy Story 4’, which earned him an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, and recalled how he became "numb" after witnessing the reaction of Tom Hanks, who voiced Woody, to the movie at its premiere in the US.

The 40-year-old director explained: "I had Tom sitting right in front of me the entire time, and he hadn’t seen the movie yet. When it was over, he turned around and had a huge smile, and shook my hand. I was so numb. I can’t quite remember what he said, but it was positive."