Given that the first three films in franchise have already raked in billions—yes, that last word is with a B and an S—of dollars worldwide, nothing we say here will have much impact on whether or not audiences show up for Michael Bay’s latest giant robot adventure, Transformers: Age of Extinction. The crowds will most certainly be there for the fourth installment. The one thing that we could say to hype things up, however, is that the Dino-bots finally show up for some fun, and are featured, among others, in this new collection of character posters. Bay also confirmed some speculation about the future of the franchise, as well as his potential involvement.
These banner posters are definitely a bit more animated than what we’ll see in the final film. I’ve never been a huge fan of the character design in the Transformers movies, but these appear almost like cartoons, like they’re from an animated project, not necessarily from a live action film. But again, Dino-bots. Take a gander at our best looks yet at Grimlock, Scorn, and Strafe.
This collection also features old favorites, like Bumblebee, who is back for his fourth turn around the Transformers universe…
…and Optimus Prime. From the trailers and footage we’ve seen from Age of Extinction we know that the Autobot leader has been on the scrap heap in the years since the battle of Chicago in the last film, Dark of the Moon. Mark Wahlberg’s character, an inventor/mechanic named Cade, finds him and brings him back to life.
There are also a handful of new additions for fans to gawk at as well. Galvatron, a character that has figured prominently in the comics and various animated incarnations of the Hasbro-based property. Fans will remember that he is essentially a reincarnated version of the Decepticon leader Megatron.
Lockdown is another new addition to the fray. Bay has this to say about the new character, who sounds both like a mercenary, and like he will play a part in the franchise moving forward:
Lockdown is an interesting character. He travels the galaxy, he works for somebody else. And he’s here for one person, one alien, and then he’s out of here. So he doesn’t really want to take sides. The cause and balance of the galaxy is kind of messed up when different species play with different species. And that opens up a whole other gigantic world for Transformers… Lockdown’s ship has a lot of meaning that can go into other movies. There’s a lot of backstory about that ship that’s not laid out here. You’re going to see a few things where you’re like ‘What is that? And what is that?’ And you’re going to see a couple shots like, ‘Wait a minute, who are they?’ But we don’t answer those questions.
There’s also Stinger. Capable of flight beyond our atmosphere, she also has highly attuned senses and can monitor anything within a 500-mile radius, at least according to extant Transformers lore.
We’ve heard rumors and suspicions that Age of Extinction will be the first in a new trilogy, and Bay just confirmed as much. He said:
We had three, the first trilogy, and this is going to be the next one. It’s the first of a new trilogy. I’m not necessarily sure that I’m doing [the others], but that’s what it’s meant for.
Over the course of three—soon to be four—installments, Bay, and his hyperactive visual style, has practically become synonymous with the Transformers movies. It doesn’t sound like he is done for sure, but the idea of the franchise moving on without him is strange indeed, but depending on who takes over the director’s spot.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens June 27.