Believe it or not, there has been some version of Transformers on TV since 1984. Beginning with Transformers: Generation 1, the franchise has expanded outward through Generation 2, Beast Wars, The Unicron Trilogy, and Transformers: Prime. While I was a huge fan of the original cartoon and toy line, Transformers has fallen out of my favor over the past 30 years. It wasn’t until Michael Bay released the first Transformers movie that I found myself once again interested in Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Megatron. Now the Transformers are headed back to the small screen one more time.
The new Transformers animated series is headed for the cable network The Hub. While the show has yet to receive an official title, it will be a direct continuation of Transformers Prime, which ended its three-year run with The Fall of Cybertron in 2012. It will continue on with the adventures of Bumblebee as the new leader of the Autobots.
The animated series will feature the voice talents of Will Friedle (returning as Bumblebee), Darren Criss, Constance Zimmer, and Ted McGinley. It will also blend 3D character animation with hand-painted backgrounds and environments. Hasbro will produce the show with Jeff Kline (Transformers Prime, G.I. Joe Renegades), who will serve as executive producer. Star Trek Into Darkness co-writer Roberto Orci will produce the series, which he says is essentially a reboot. Orci explains, “It’s sort of a continuation of [Transformers Prime] in a tonally different form. We want to make sure we’re servicing the right audiences.”
According to Orci, the series will also be more kid friendly than the live-action movies and will be a parallel series to Transformers Prime. Roberto Orci was the executive producer on Prime, and was also the co-screenwriter, with his writing partner Alex Kurtzman, on the first two Transformers movies for Michael Bay. Orci says:
We got to do a very adult version of Transformers that you just saw in this cartoon, a very sophisticated one, and we also want to make sure we don’t leave other kids behind, who love Transformers too and don’t want to be as scared as Transformers Prime could make you, that kind of thing. So we’re going to have a good parallel series that is connected, but it’s a little more friendly to the family.
This year is the 30th anniversary of Transformers: Generation 1 and the popular toy line from Takara Tomy and Hasbro. The new animated series is part of the Transformers anniversary and should go nicely as a follow-up to Transformers: Age of Extinction.
The Hub Network has yet to announce an official air date, but it’s expected to be released in early 2015, while Transformers: Age of Extinction will hit theaters everywhere on June 27, in 3D and IMAX.