Transformers 7 is now in production and has a title — it's Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. You know what that means, it's Beast Wars time. At a virtual Paramount event on Tuesday, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts director Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II) and stars Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) and Dominique Fishback (The Deuce) offered details on the next prequel in the giant robots franchise. Set in 1994, between Bumblebee's late '80s and Michael Bay's '00s-era films, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will introduce Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons — the last of them are the film's main villains — from the Beast War cartoon and line of Transformers toys.
Unlike Autobots who disguise themselves as cars and an assortment of vehicles, Maximals — the new good guys — take on all sorts of fauna, be it mammals, birds, or fish. Caple Jr. provided more hints as he said: “In our film, they're these prehistoric animals that travel through time and space, and we find them here on Earth.” Predacons are their natural enemy, who opt to become reptiles, amphibians, or invertebrates. That leaves the Terrorcons who are a “new threat to this universe,” Caple Jr. added. “When the Terrorcons enter the film, when they disrupt our movie, you're gonna feel it.” Scourge is their leader, whom the Autobots and Maximals will join forces to stop.
Speaking of the Autobots, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) is around as well. In fact, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will serve as an origin story of sorts, telling us how he became the leader that we know him as from future Transformers entries. And yes, everyone's favourite Bumblebee will be part of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts as well, in a new off-road version of the Chevrolet Camaro. Paramount also showed early designs — not publicly available — for new Transformers such as Airazor, Arcee, Mirage, Nightbird, Optimus Primal, and Rhinox.
Of course, there are some human characters around as well, to give audiences a surrogate and a bit of an emotional connect. Ramos is playing Brooklyn-based military vet Noah who is amazing with electronics, comes from a low-income household (he's “always hustling,” Ramos said), and is like a father figure to his younger brother (as with In the Heights). Ramos added: “He's all about taking care of the people he loves. […] The one thing I love about Noah is his tenacity and his heart, and his will to never quit, in spite of all the crazy things life is throwing at him.”
As for Fishback, she is playing an artefact researcher who's intelligent and works at a museum. Fishback said: “She's trying to get a leg up in life but her boss keeps taking credit for the work she's done, so she's trying to [move out] on her own.” Fishback's Transformers: Rise of the Beasts character is also from New York. The seventh Transformers movie will move between New York and Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage site set high in the Andes Mountains and off the Amazon Basin in Peru. I'm guessing the Maximals/ Predacons have either been hiding or living there before they start to cause chaos globally.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is slated to release June 24, 2022 in cinemas worldwide.
It's Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder's Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.