The Transformers franchise has gone through a couple of different life cycles during its timeline and it’s something of a testament to the staying power of the brand and the name that things were able to pivot after the Michael Bay-led run of movies. Now we are going to get another addition to the franchise in the next couple of years, this one setting up to maybe bring us back to what made the movies cool, to begin with. That’s going to be Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
Though the movie is still some time off in the future, there’s plenty to know about the flick already and what to expect for the next installment of this franchise. Let’s take a look at everything we know about Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and what this movie has in store.
WHAT NUMBER TRANSFORMERS MOVIE IS RISE OF THE BEASTS?
In all, this will be the seventh movie in the Transformers franchise which started out in 2007 with the eponymously titled film. In total, we’ve gotten Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction, and The Last Knight which were all helmed by Michael Bay. And then there was Bumblebee. It’s worth noting that they aren’t all necessarily part of the same overall universe. Bumblebee was a reset/ reboot. The original movies had somewhat diminishing returns over that decade-or-so stretch. Things started off fine enough with the first one which scored 58% on Rotten Tomatoes and took in a haul of over $700 million at the box office. Critically, the next few were a mixed, mostly negative, bag though the dollars kept pouring in from ticket sales and the third and fourth movie took in over $1 billion each at the box office.
But things bottomed out for The Last Knight which earned *only* $600 million at the box office, failing to reach the first movie’s number. And critics weren’t kind to the output either, scoring it just 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, the worst of the first five movies.
The Transformers franchise got something of a reset with 2018s Bumblebee which took a smaller and more insular approach to the franchise. That movie’s budget was the smallest of the group yet at $135 million and it earned $468 million worldwide. Plus, critics were back on board with things and the movie is sitting at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will pick up after the events of that film as a direct sequel though it’s worth noting that all of these films are still in the same world and timeline.
WHAT IS TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS ABOUT?
By early accounts, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will follow the Beast Wars storyline from Hasbro. It looks like there will be modifications to that story though with this film taking its general beats from the layout and structure. Essentially, this new movie will bring back some of the time-honored Transformers we’ve already seen, but there will be a couple of new groups as well, one of whom still has the vehicles as their alter-egos, so to speak, and another group who will transform into animals.
The movie is said to be taking place in 1994 in Brooklyn, years after the events of Bumblebee which took place in the 1980s. In this one, it’s basically discovered that there is an ongoing war between three factions of Transformers: the Autobots, the Maximals, and the Terrorcons. The Maximals are a group that turns into animals and are led by Optimus Primal, a counterpart to Optimus Prime. Primal takes the form of a gorilla when he transforms. We were able to get an early look at this character with some action figure releases related to the movie, often one of the best places to see what the movie has in mind.
And then there are the Terrorcons, a group led by Scourge who can transform into a logging truck. These guys are gearing up to be the primary antagonists in the movie, though it’s a bit unclear exactly how they work into the story. There have been hints that the three factions meet in what becomes a pretty epic blowup but that remains to be seen.
WHO IS IN THIS NEXT MOVIE?
It looks like Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will introduce a new human cast to the mix because Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, in particular, won’t be reprising their roles from Bumblebee. In this one, we will get Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) in the lead role. Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah) is on board as well. They look like they are leading the military and research team that will be at the heart of discovering the ancient conflict between these Transformers groups.
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As for the Transformers themselves, well we’ve got a lot going on here with these characters. Peter Cullen will be back voicing Optimus Prime after basically handling these duties throughout the franchise. And among the other Autobots, Bumblebee is back after appearing in every film up until this point as well. There’s also Arcee from Revenge of the Fallen with Mirage, and Wheeljack back from Dark of the Moon.
Then there are the Optimus Primal-led Maximals who have Rhinox, Airazor, and Cheetor in their ranks. The Terrorcons are made up of the aforementioned Scourge as well as Nightbird and Battletrap. There are sure to be more additions as well, especially as the story ramps up.
TRANSFORMERS: RISE OF THE BEASTS RELEASE DATE
The good news on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is that they have actually already finished and wrapped filming for the movie, something that was completed nearly a year ago. That’s because the movie was originally supposed to have hit the big screen this summer. But with some of the other release schedules, Paramount opted to push the date back. Now, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will release in theaters on June 9, 2023. So we are about a year away from seeing this next installment of the Transformers franchise. It’s shaping up to be a big one.