The next movie in the Transformers franchise is officially on the way. Following up on the fan-favorite solo throwback Bumblebee, director Steve Caple Jr. is bringing his contribution to the recent “change up” in the Transformers franchise after the Michael Bay films.
Caple’s film is currently in the early days of production, and Caple, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, and actors Dominque Fishback and Anthony Ramos shared a first look with select members of the press, including SYFY WIRE, revealing the title and what kind of Transformers we’ll see.
The first bit of news is the name of the upcoming film. Caple revealed the movie is titled Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. As the name suggests, it focuses on the Beast Wars installment of the Transformers franchise, which fans of a certain age will remember from the popular late '90s cartoon series. The upcoming film takes place in 1994, and also introduces new robot aliens to the big screen: the Terrorcons, the Predacons, and the Maximals. If you're unfamiliar, here's an official clip from the Beast Wars animated series as a primer.
There are new Transformers among us
Caple revealed some early shots of some of the characters. Optimus Prime is back and has a bit more flair than previous on-screen versions. Bumblebee is also back, though his car version is equipped more like an off-road vehicle. We also got a tease of some new characters including Arcee, a female transformer, and a ninja-wielding female Terrorcon named Nightbird who is the right hand of the movie’s major villain.
That main villain is Scourge, who has a massive claw and looks scarier than your average Transformer. Caple wanted Scourge to be as intimidating as possible. “I wanted a super ruthless and scary character,” he said. “I wanted to have people jump out of their seats.”
Scourge certainly looks scary, in no small part because he tacks on parts of the Transformers he’s killed to his body, making what Di Bonaventura described as a “living memorial to the havoc he’s created.”
And then there are the Maximals. For those who aren't up on Transformers lore, Maximals are alien robots who take on animal form. Caple showed preliminary shots of a few of them including a hawk named Airazor, a robot rhino appropriately named Rhinox, and a gorilla named Optimus Primal (not to be confused with our fan favorite hero, Autobot Optimus Prime).
Rise of the Beasts will span the globe
Like many Transformer movies, Rise of the Beasts will be a global affair. While we don't know all the places the Autobots, Terrorcons, Maximals, and Predacons will visit, we do know that there will be scenes in New York City (Brooklyn, specifically) as well as several places in Peru including Macchu Picchu and Cusco.
The human side of Rise of the Beasts
Ramos and Fishback also shared some details about their characters in the film. Fishback is playing Elena, an artifact researcher in New York who works at a museum and is "trying to get a leg up in life." Ramos is playing Noah, a Brooklyn native who is ex-military with a knack for technology who came back home to live with his mom and brother, and is trying to find his way again.
The two couldn't share more details, but given their backgrounds, it's likely that their unique set of skills will come in handy when they inevitably run into robot aliens from outer space. We'll have to wait a bit to see though — while the movie is currently in production, we won't see it on screen until June 24, 2022.