Beast Wars Is Finally Coming To Live-Action To Maximize The Transformers Franchise
The Transformers live-action franchise saw a bit of a dip in quality with the last movie released in 2018. And even then, Bumblebee was more of a standalone slash prequel that differed in tone and story from the Michael Bay-directed and produced action blockbusters. This dip allowed a different kind of franchise, such as the Transformers: War For Cybertron anime from Netflix, to take center stage. But now we have official confirmation of a new Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts movie, coming to the live-action franchise. And it’s not just the announcement that’s exciting, there’s a whole bunch of details that came out, proving that the project is very much moving forward. Read on as I break down all the details, and what it all means for the Transformers franchise as a whole, and for Beast Wars fans specifically.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Movie Seems Pretty Far Along
Image via Paramount Pictures.
There are actually a few Transformers projects in the works now. The new Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is the latest, and it sounds like it’s already in motion. The new movie has a director, cast, voice-cast and a good handle on the story as well it seems. Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts comes from director Steven Caple Jr. and stars Anthony Ramos (In The Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Project Power) as the main human leads. The movie will see the return of Optimus Prime, voiced by Peter Cullen, in his original G1 form from the 1980’s original toy line.
There is seemingly also a story in mind for the new movie. While Ramos and Fishback have character descriptions, the story also looks like it’s been finalized. As the title suggests, the new movie will focus on the 90’s Beast Wars iteration of the Transformers franchise. And accordingly, will feature the descendants of the original Optimus Prime, Optimus Primal. There’s also a villain in mind, but the details of how and what will unfold are still unknown. It’s an interesting idea, although, given what we know about the Beast Wars franchise, it’s hard to pin down how the live-action movie will adapt that storyline. Also given that this isn’t the only Transformer project in the works.
So Many Transformers, So Little Time
Image via Netflix
Along with the new Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts movie, there’s another feature film in the works from director Angel Manuel Soto. We don’t know a lot about that movie. It was announced as part of a larger, vaguer plan about expanding the Transformer’s franchise. The new report does confirm that that project is also still underway. Then there’s the Netflix original anime, Transformers: War For Cybertron. The new anime actually does something very different from the other animated shows and movies, and live-action movies; it’s telling a planned trilogy of stories, in limited series format. The genius behind it is that instead of an ongoing struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons, the series explores the depths of it all in more interesting ways.
The first part of the trilogy, War For Cybertron: Seige showcased the origins of the war between the two factions of Transformers. It provided a never-before look at the oppression, struggle, and dove into the hardships of war. Until eventually leaving their planet of Cybertron, to head to Earth, as the original Transformers’ lore dictates. The second part, Earthrise, was all about trying to find Earth, ending in a cliffhanger, that will absolutely lead us into a Beast Wars remake.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Movie Is Another Beast Wars Take?
Image via Paramount Pictures.
Beast Wars was a 90’s CGI animated Transformers series that did a little something different. Taking us into the future of Transformers, the show was about two factions, the Maximals, descended from the Autobots, and the Predacons, descendants of the Decepticons. A skirmish saw two ships, one with the Maximals and one with the Predacons, go back in time and crash land on a strange planet, later revealed to be prehistoric Earth. Taking on the forms of animals indigenous to the planet at the time, it was a show that very much added to the Transformers mythos. The characters even interacted with their ancestors, as they have to maintain the timeline, so that the original Transformers story will unfold in the 1980s, as per the lore.
So it’s interesting that with the anime taking us into a reimagined Beast Wars, the new Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts will also do a similar take on that series. Listening to the director Caple Jr. talk about the story, it also sounds like the Maximals and Autobots will very much interact with one another. And I wonder if that will cause some timey-wimey issues, from a storytelling perspective.
The Director Sounds Excited, Which Is Always A Good Sign
Image via Paramount Pictures.
“There are different breeds of Transformers,” said Caple, who last directed Creed II. “In our particular film, they are prehistoric animals who travel through time and space, and we find them here on Earth.” — Steven Caple Jr.
So similar to the original Beast Wars, and this new anime, time travel looks to be a component of this new movie. Although, it’s unclear if this new Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts movie will connectas a sequel to the previous Bay films, or if this will be a standalone movie. If it is a sequel in the same universe, it adds layers of complications. But then again, the continuity of the previous films was all over the place, to begin with, as each subsequent film seemingly retconned the events of the one before it. We’ll have to wait for the movie’s release to find out exactly how it’s all going to play out.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is set to release on June 24, 2022.
How do you feel about a new Transformers live-action movie? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image via Paramount Pictures.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.