The New Voice Of Optimus Prime Is A Sci-Fi Icon

Alan Tudyk, who voices Optimus Prime on Transformers: Earthspark, is a fan-favorite star of Firefly, Star Wars, Doom Patrol, and more.

By Michileen Martin | Published

alan tudyk transformers
Alan Tudyk in Resident Alien

Peter Cullen has been the actor most commonly associated with Autobots leader Optimus Prime, but another voice was chosen for Paramount+‘s animated series Transformers: Earthspark. Instead of Cullen, it’s Alan Tudyk voicing the leaders of the Transfomers’ Autobots. The nerd icon recently spoke to SFX Magazine (via CBR) about how surprised he was to get the role, and how he originally thought he was playing a variant version of Prime.

Alan Tudyk said when he first got the email asking him to join the voice cast of Transformers: Earthspark, his “brain rejected the idea” — not because he wouldn’t want the part, but because he just couldn’t believe he would be cast in the role. He explained that he later figured he would be playing an “alternate” version of Optimus Prime, and gave the hilarious examples of “Optometrist Prime” and “Amazon Prime.”

But when it was time to get to work, Alan Tudyk said he was pleasantly shocked to see the name “Optimus Prime” highlighted on his Transformers: Earthspark script. “I freaked out,” he told the magazine. “The first time I got to say ‘Autobots, roll out,’ I got chills, literally chills.”

alan tudyk transformers
Optimus Prime, voice by Alan Tudyk, in Transformers: Earthspark

Alan Tudyk, by joining the cast of Transformers: Earthspark, only solidifies his status as a science fiction icon and a beloved hero of nerd culture. To many, Tudyk’s signature role is that of the pilot wash on the short-lived sci-fi series Firefly and its companion film Serenity. Star Wars fans claim some ownership as well, since Tudyk voiced the hilarious droid K-2SO in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; a role he will reprise in the upcoming second season of Disney+’s Andor.

His contributions to science fiction don’t end there. Alan Tudyk did the motion capture and voice work for Sonny in 2004’s I, Robot, played the villain Mr. Nobody in Season 1 of Doom Patrol, voiced Dangerboat in the Amazon Prime reboot of The Tick, and in SyFy’s Resident Alien he plays the man from outer space who takes the place of a human doctor. Not to mention that his voice is all over sci-fi-related animated projects like Harley Quinn, Big Hero 6, M.O.D.O.K., Rick and Morty, and Young Justice.

alan tudyk transformers
(From left to right:) Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Long before Alan Tudyk was cast in Transformers: Earthspark, he also became a fan-favorite in different horror and fantasy franchises. He plays Tucker in the 2010 darkly hilarious horror film Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and squire friend to Heath Ledger‘s hero in 2001’s A Knight’s Tale.

If you want to check out Alan Tudyk’s version of Optimus Prime, the first 10 episodes of Transformers: Earthspark are streaming on Paramount+.