New ’90s-Set ‘Transformers’ Film Titled ‘Rise of the Beasts’

A new Transformers film is officially on the way.

Yesterday, Paramount announced Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, a prequel to the main Transformers film series, but a sequel to Bumblebee, that will explore the Beast Wars characters.

So what are the Beast Wars? Well, they are basically the Autobots and Decepticons except they are called Predacons and Maximals and transform into prehistoric animals instead of vehicles. There are also the Terrorcons, who will be the villains of the movie. They are “dead Transformers infused with Dark Energon” and “are Megatron’s greatest asset,” according to the Transformers Wiki.

The film will find the Beast Wars characters on Earth with the majority of Rise of the Beasts set in New York City in 1994.

Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah) will star as the Transformers’ human counterparts.

Ramos will play Noah, “a guy from Brooklyn who lives with his mother and brother. He’s ex-military and came back home trying to find his way. He’s always hustling and fixing up electronics.”

Fishback is Elena, “an artifact researcher at a museum who keeps having credit for her work stolen by her boss.”

Additionally, it was confirmed that Peter Cullen will be returning to voice Optimus Prime in the upcoming sixth instalment in the film franchise. Optimus Prime will also be sporting his G1 design (last seen at the end of Bumblebee).

In addition to New York City, the film will also head to Cusco, Peru with parts of the story involving the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu.

Director Steven Caple Jr. described the area of Machu Picchu, which is situated on a nearly 8,000-foot high mountain ridge, as having “beautiful landscapes, beautiful sights, but also beautiful people.” He confirmed that the production is collaborating with the locals to ensure they are depicted in a respectful fashion in the film.

Steven Caple Jr. also talked about hoping to evoke a little bit of Indiana Jones in the upcoming film:

“There’s just a sense of discovery. I look at classic films like Indiana Jones, where you actually went on a journey but learned something en route. Something I hope to bring to the table is highlighting a culture and the people.”

I found Bumblebee to be the best Transformers film of the bunch in terms of story and heart, so while I’m bummed it’s not getting a direct sequel I remain optimistic about Rise of the Beasts. Fingers crossed that Steven Caple Jr. and the rest of the cast and crew can right the sinking Autobot ship and give us a Transformers film worthy of our praise.

Production is currently underway on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The film is set to hit theaters on June 24, 2022.

What do you think about the Transformers film series adapting Beast Wars? Are you glad the designs for the Transformers will be based on the G1 look?

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"