Ever since the Transformers live-action franchise came into the picture in the summer of 2007, it has become one of the most successful, yet divisive, movie properties with titles that range from great to borderline offensive. And, for the most part, the series has focused on the centuries-long war between the friendly Autobots and the antagonistic Decepticons, so much so that there isn’t much ground left to cover in the long-running animosity between the two.
That will change with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which will bring into the fold characters from the iconic CGI-animated series, Beast Wars, and throw them into the middle of New York City (and other locations) where they’ll interact with characters played by Anthony Ramos and other non-robotic lifeforms. Below is a quick rundown of everything we know about the upcoming movie and several reasons we should all be very excited for one the biggest upcoming 2023 movies.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Will Be Released June 9, 2023
The Summer 2023 blockbuster season is shaping up to be one of the busiest in quite some time, with movies like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Fast X, and The Marvels all slated to hit the silver screen. There’s one more title to add to the busy, action-packed release schedule: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which is slated to open June 9, 2023.
The latest movie in the Transformers franchise was originally scheduled to open theatrically on June 24, 2022, but Paramount Pictures elected to postpone the rollout and instead release the movie on the June 2023 date that was originally tied to the upcoming Star Trek movie (it is now slated for a December 22, 2023 release), according to Deadline.
The Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Cast Includes Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Peter Cullen, And Ron Perlman
Over the years, the Transformers film franchise has always seen humans and robots interact for various reasons, and that tradition will continue when Transformers: Rise of the Beasts opens. This time around, Hamilton and In the Heights star Anthony Ramos will be taking on the human lead in the picture, when he portrays a Brooklynite named Noah, according to Collider. Appearing alongside Ramos will be Judas and the Black Messiah standout Dominique Fishback, who will be portraying an artifact researcher working in New York City named Elena. Luna Lauren Vélez, of Dexter and Oz fame, as well as rapper Tobe Nwigwe are also part of the movie’s human cast.
The latest Transformers movie will also see the return of Peter Cullen, who will once again provide the voice of Optimus Prime, the fearless leader of the Autobots. The movie will also see the live-action debut of Optimus Primal, the leader of the Maximals, who, instead of turning into a vehicle, can transform into a gorilla. Providing the voice of this iconic character will be Ron Perlman, according to another Collider report.
More than a year after the initial round of casting announcements, more additions to the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts cast were announced, including in October 2023, when Deadline reported that Everything Everywhere All At Once star and Time’s 2022 Icon of the Year, Michelle Yeoh, would be voicing the Maximal Airazor and that Saturday Night Live alum Pete Davidson would be voicing the Autobot character, Mirage. Then in December 2022, Deadline confirmed more additions to the cast, including that Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage would provide the voice of the Decepticon scanner, Scourge.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Is Set In 1994 And Will Focus On The Ancient Conflict Between The Maximals, Predacons, And Terrorcons
When Transformers: Rise of the Beasts opens in theaters in the summer of 2023, it will take audiences back to 1994 New York City (though parts of the film will take place in Peru), where they will follow Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback’s characters as they find themselves in the middle of an ancient conflict between three factions: the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons. Although a lot of the finer details have yet to be revealed at this point in time, experiencing a new story with characters who have yet to appear on the big screen will surely be a breath of fresh air for the franchise and its diehard fans.
The Movie Will Also Serve As An Origin Story For Optimus Prime
In addition to introducing the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will also serve as an origin story for Optimus Prime and will follow him as he first arrives on Earth, according to Variety. During a June 2021 virtual event attended by the outlet, it was revealed that Optimus Prime will look more like the character first introduced during the classic animated series and line of toys in the 1980s and less like the version seen in the movie franchise starting with 2007’s Transformers. It was also reported that other classic characters like Mirage, Arcee, and Bumblebee will all appear in the upcoming release.
This Is The First Time The Beast Wars Mythology Has Been Explored In A Live-Action Transformers Movie
Surprisingly, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will be the first time the deep and rich mythology of the 1996 CGI-animated spinoff series, Beast Wars (which later had a continuation titled Beast Machines), will be explored in a live-action movie.
Over the course of three seasons and 52 episodes (as well as multiple comic books), Beast Wars told the story of the Maximals (descendants of the Autobots) and the Predacons (the show’s version of Decepticons) whose fight over a mysterious artifact known as the Golden Disk leads them to travel through a wormhole that spits them out on an ancient Earth. With no modern vehicles to mimic, the robots transform into different animals ranging from a gorilla (Optimus Primal) to a dinosaur (Megatron).
The Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Trailer Brings Classic Beast Wars Characters To Life
Fans of Beast Wars who have been waiting more than 25 years for a live-action movie finally got to see characters like Optimus Primal, Cheetor, and more in December 2022 when Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and those classic Maximals have never looked better.
But, the trailer did more than just provide a first look at the Maximals in action, as the preview also showed off all the shiny Autobots and Decepticons that will appear in the movie, as well as the human characters caught in the middle of the machine-on-machine action.
Creed II Director Steven Caple Jr. Is Helming Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts
Stepping in to lead the charge behind Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is Steven Caple Jr., who is best known for directing Creed II in 2018. In November 2020, Deadline reported that Caple, who also directed two episodes of grown-ish, had been tapped to direct the film based on a script written by Job Harold. Shortly before production wrapped on the seventh installment in the Transformers film franchise in October 2021, Caple took to Instagram to show off some of the toys he was getting to work with while on set in Peru. And, while he has been mum on any additional plot details, Caple looked more than stoked to hang out with his “squad” of Autobots.
Anthony Ramos Had To Get His Driver's License For Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts
When Anthony Ramos signed on for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, director Steven Caple Jr. had one request for the Broadway star: get a driver’s license. During a September 2021 appearance on the Sprout Podcast, Ramos revealed that he never really had a reason to get a driver’s license because he grew up taking the train (and later Uber) anywhere he needed to go in his hometown of New York City. That all changed when he was getting ready for the upcoming Transformers movie, which features a lot of cars and plenty of driving:
Anthony Ramos passed his driving test, secured his license, and has been able to fulfill his duties on the set of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, though he made sure to point out that he wasn’t doing any crazy car stunts or anything like that.
That about does it for all the information we have on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, but make sure to keep checking up on the other upcoming Transformer movies coming down the line.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.