For those who don’t believe in the concept of The Singularity — the theory that, at some point, all of spacetime will collapse in on itself so that everything co-exists at the same time always — the first trailer for next year’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts might provide a strong argument in its favor.
Next year, there’s somehow going to be a new Transformers movie, continuing a movie series started in the 2010s about a series of toys from the 1980s… and featuring characters from the relaunch of the toy line in the 1990s. Witness the end of history, Cybertron-style!
As the name suggests, Rise of the Beasts — officially a sequel to 2018’s Bumblebee, which was itself a reboot/prequel to the earlier movies in the series (yes, I know it’s confusing) takes its cue from Transformers: Beast Wars, the 1996 relaunch of the relaunch of what was then an ailing franchise. That might not something immediately apparent from this trailer, which concentrates more on characters (and vehicles) familiar to fans of Generation 1, the original version of the franchise... at least until all hell breaks loose, and the audience gets to see giant robot animals that turn into giant robot people fighting with giant robot people that turn into human-sized vehicles.
Yes, it’s all crazily over-the-top, but that’s very much in keeping with the Transformers movie series to date, which has gone so far as to aggressively rewrite human history to insert robots in disguise at seemingly every point — not to mention actually rewriting very existence when revealing that Earth itself is a transformer in 2017’s Transformers: The Last Knight. (Don’t ask.) Fittingly, the cast list for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is as bizarre as its premise, with In The Heights’ Anthony Ramos and Judas And The Black Messiah’s Dominique Fishback as two of the few humans. The voice cast features Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Michelle Yeoh, and Pose’s Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, as well as Ron Perlman as Optimus Primal, the robot who turns into a gorilla.
Like I said: it’s very over-the-top… but that’s kind of the point. What else are you supposed to do in a franchise full of giant robots?
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, directed by Creed II’s Steven Caple Jr., will be released June 9, 2023.
At Emerald City Comic Con this year, designers and animators talked about Transformers: Beast Wars in depth.