The Michael Bay Transformers movies are finally bringing to life the fan-favorite characters from Beast Wars, starting with our first good look at Optimus Primal in action. Leader of the Maximals, Optimus Primal is voiced by Ron Perlman, while Optimus Prime is still being voiced by Peter Cullen, the original voice actor for the character. After Bumblebee breathed new life into the franchise, the first trailer for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts looks incredible, with plenty of teases for long-time Transformer fans.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts introduces new factions, the good Maximals, evil Predacons, and the Terrorcons. Functioning as both a sequel to Bumblebee and the first in the Beast Wars franchise, the upcoming film is rumored to be heavily influenced by Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Time travel as a central part of the plot makes sense as canonically, the Maximals and Predacons pre-date human civilization.
In the trailer, Primal is seen warning Prime of a new threat, exactly what the threat is goes without further explanation. Further into the trailer, a scene similar to the audience’s introduction to Bumblebee from the first Transformers movie plays out with Anthony Ramos riding along with new Autobot, Mirage, voiced by Pete Davidson. In the original 1980’s cartoon, Mirage was a prominent character thanks to his illusions, a character trait that the trailer shows off during a police chase.
Towards the end of the trailer, more of the animal-based Transformers are showcased, including Rhinox, voiced by longtime voice actor David Sobolov, and Airrazor, played by Michelle Yeoh. In a moment sure to please fans of the first generation cartoon, Arcee, at one time the only female Autobot, is shown during a battle scene and again during a quiet moment with Dominique Fishback’s character, Elena. Keeping with the standard set by the previous movies, the locations look to take the action around the world.
Also in keeping with long-standing Transformers tradition, the trailer includes Optimus Prime letting out a chill-inducing line before showing a high-octane, special-effects filled battle scene between multiple groups of Transformers. “Let them come” may not have the same gravitas as “One shall stand, one shall fall” but even the brief tease in the trailer has sent chills down the spines of fans weighing in on social media. If that battle takes place during the present, or a flashback of Primal’s is unclear, but either way, the moviegoing public loves seeing giant robots duke it out.
Originally teased in a brief mention by series producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura back in 2018, Beast Wars was going to be a standalone movie. Once separate films, the Bumblebee sequel and Beast Wars were combined even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down Hollywood productions. Fan sentiment to the trailer is already overwhelmingly positive, proving that the risk Paramount is taking with moving the Transformers franchise forward looks to pay off big next year.
Past films in the franchise have had big name actors taking on the roles of giant robots from outer space, such as Leonard Nimoy in Dark Side of the Moon, but Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the most star-studded yet. In addition to the previously mentioned actors, Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is voicing Scourge, leader of the Terrorcons, a faction of Transformers with no loyalty to the Autobots or the Decepticons. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will be out worldwide in theaters June 2023.