AfterDevin Meenan/Updated June 12, 2023 at 12:26 am EST
Will the Transformers franchise be rebooted or not? Even after watching the last movie Transformers: Rise of the Beast I'm still not sure. The films have been in the hands of director Michael Bay for a decade and five straight sequels — too long. Now Bay is back in the producer's role; 2018's Bumblebee, an Autobot spinoff of the same name, was the first Transformers feature film not directed by BayLaika co-founder/Nike heir Travis Knight.
Bumblebee definitely started out as a prequel — set in the 1980s, before 2007's Transformers — but the latest installment felt like a fresh start that could lead to a new story rather than the Bay films. Adding to this feeling was the fact that it received far better reviews and fan reactions than Bay's films.
At the New York Toy Fair 2019 the owner of "Transformers".Hasbro announced"Bumblebee" will be the beginning of a "new storytelling universe". Many hopeful fans have welcomed this reboot confirmation, but I think it's a miserly attempt to play both sides. Rise of the Beast ties in with Bumblebee, but whether or not it follows in the footsteps of the Bay films is equally uncertain. Let's see if we can find the answer to this riddle.
Two scenes in "Bumblebee" are at the center of this argument: an opening where the Autobots evacuate Cybertron while the Decepticons conquer it, and then a flashback that continues from that opening. In these scenes, all Transformers have designs that owe much more to the Generation One originals than to the Bay films; They are cleaner, blockier, and more colorful with humanoid faces. The characters in these scenes, from Optimus Prime to Soundwave, look like HD versions of their classic personalities. This sort of aesthetic rebrand lends itself better to a reboot than its predecessor.
There is also continuity - or lack thereof. In "Bumblebee," the Autobots first arrive on Earth in the 1980s. According to Bay's films, however, he had been here decades earlier, even fighting in World War II. The film ends with the other Autobots arriving on Earth, where they have remained since Rise of the Beasts, although the Bay films first came in 2007. The Last Knight revealed that Earth is actually a dormant Unicron, but in Rise of the Beasts: “The Bringer of Chaos is an entirely separate being; The climax of the film is about how to stop him from destroying the earth.
Given all of these inconsistencies, it seems a bit of a headache to simply declare the post-bay Transformers movies to be reboots set in their own continuity. However, it's not that simple.
They are the predecessors
Unlike the other Autobots, Bumblebee keeps searchinga lotas in Bay's films, right down to the same head design, Camaro mode, and speech impediment. Bumblebee (the movie) also starred Sector Seven, the government agency that hunts down Transformers from the 2007 movie Transformers.
This organization was an inception of Bay Films; "Bumblebee" also described her as being at the Hoover Dam, with Nick Pilla playing young agent Seymour Simmons (played by John Turturro in the Bay films).Deleted post-credits scene of "Bumblebee"— showing how Sector Seven is owned by “N.B.E 01,” aka the Frozen Megatron — would tie the film even more closely to the 2007 film.
One could say that the removal of this scene is further evidence of the "restart" column. However, Megatron is absent from the opening of the Cybertron set, where the Decepticons are instead led by his generals. Travis Knightsaid io9"I did the whole thing where we see Megatron and he acts as Sauron who just kicks ass and destroys everything." However, he decided to shorten the film because it conflicted with the 2007 film would. At TFCon 2019, voice actor Jon Bailey (who portrayed Soundwave and Shockwave in "Bumblebee") was asked about Megatron's absence.He answered openly"Well, ["Bumblebee"] is a prequel, so Megatron is still frozen on Earth."
As for other continuity issues? Continuity was never a priority in this franchise. Each film adds a new, incredible twist to the Decepticon master plan and a new connection between human history and the Transformers. The Last Knight tried (and failed).greater mythologyof that. As such, errors cannot really be counted as evidence for a reboot.
To understand this tangled storytelling, one has to understand what was going on behind the scenes. "Bumblebee" was originally intended to be much closer to the Bay films.The film originally had a different opening sequence:a set on Earth that expressed the idea that Bumblebee had been on the planet for decades. The previous comic, written by John Barber and drawn by Andrew Griffith, was also written with this idea in mind and cast Bumblebee in a spy thriller set in the '60s.
But then,Transformers: The Last Knight lost $100 million for Paramount, suggesting the public is finally fed up with the declining returns from the quality of Bay's "Transformers." This created an incentive for Paramount to distance "Bumblebee" from "The Last Knight". Part of this also has to do with the different preferences between Bay and Knight.
Knight was 11 years old when Transformers debuted in 1984 and is, of course, a fan of the series (unlike Bay, who seemed to despise the material). Even when it was cut as a prequel, "Bumblebee" had some "Generation One" overtones - such as a brief holographic appearance of Optimus Prime in his "G1" design, or the Decepticon Blitzwing that Bumblebee fights and kills at the beginning. The latter has a design modeled after the Seekers: a trio of Decepticons consisting of Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp, all sharing a common body type (but different color schemes) and jet fighter mode. When the trailer for Bumblebee came out, most viewers initially assumed it was Blitzwinghe wasstar scream.
Schrödinger's prime minister
The most important
The beginning of the series "Bumblebee" in Cybertron was a last minute addition conceived by Knight and screenwriter Christina Hodson after test audiences wanted more Transformers. The film crew and Industrial Light & Magic set the stage just months before release. Due to critical timing, the team retrofitted the existing CGI models (Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Blitzwing, and Decepticon Shatter) to create the new Autobots and Decepticons in the opening. Knight's affinity with "Generation One" led to these new designs being based on it.ILM shares details about its work here.
Despite the success of Bumblebee, there's another cast member: producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who was there from the start and is still around without Bay. In 2019he went on recordthat future Transformers movies will have "more Bayhem," and indeed Rise of the Beast attempts to balance Bay's insanity with Knight's sentimentality. Bonaventure has a keen interest in Bay's 'Transformers' movies -- he oversaw them, after all -- so as long as he's in charge, we'll likely never get any 'official' confirmation that the new films are reboots acts. To admit they did it would be to admit failure, and it would be a self-inflicted blot on Bonaventure's history.
Right now, it's best to purchase any Transformers movie at discounted rates. That certainly seems to be the attitude of the people who make them.
Transformers: Rise of the Beast is in cinemas.
That organization was a creation of the Bay films; "Bumblebee" likewise depicted them as being based out of the Hoover Dam, while Nick Pilla makes a cameo as a young Agent Seymour Simmons (played by John Turturro in the Bay movies).Are Bumblebee and Rise of the Beasts prequels? ›
If you at all care about Transformers movie continuity, “Rise of the Beasts” is a sequel to the 2018 soft-reboot “Bumblebee,” and a prequel to the popular Michael Bay-helmed Transformers movies from the 2000s.Is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts a reboot or sequel? ›
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Is Still A Franchise Reboot
Although Bay has been confirmed to be involved in the production of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts still, there are several, subtle indications that it is a fresh start for the franchise.
Bumblebee (marketed as Transformers: Bumblebee) is a 2018 science fiction action film based on the Hasbro and Takara Tomy's Transformers toy line character of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Transformers live-action film series, serving as a soft reboot to the 2007 film.Is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts connected to the Bumblebee movie? ›
Long suspected of being a reboot, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts confirms that it and its predecessor have no connection to the previous Michael Bay-directed movies. The new movie only shares a continuity with the 2018 film Bumblebee, which itself was intended initially as a prequel instead of a reboot.How does Rise of the Beasts fit in the timeline? ›
"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" is set before 2007's "Transformers." Some elements in the movie conflict with the events of the previous Michael Bay-directed movies. Director Steven Caple Jr. told Insider that producers cared more about telling the "best story."Will Transformer rise of the beast follow the old movies? ›
The film was a period piece that directly followed 2018's prequel film Bumblebee. Rise of the Beasts was not a direct sequel to that film. Instead, it continued that story in the universe of Transformers. It introduced other characters, like the Maximals, which opened up the world in an exciting direction.Is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts connected to the last Knight? ›
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts: Teaser trailer
The Autobots are returning to the big screen for the first time since 2018's Bumblebee in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The last mainline Transformers movie was 2017's Transformers: The Last Knight, and this movie is designed to be a sort-of sequel to both.
Megatron doesn't appear in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
Nor does the story reference the Decepticons' leader at all. Provided that Rise of the Beasts takes place in the same timeline as the first Transformers movies, it makes sense that Megatron isn't part of the story.
And now Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will be both rebooting the Transformers story and paying tribute to the beloved animated series. Directed by Steven Caple Jr.
The 2023 sequel, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, has been confirmed to take place after the events of Bumblebee. While fans were sure that Rise of the Beasts was set in a rebooted timeline, Paramount has hesitated to leave the Bay era behind.How did Blitzwing find Bumblebee? ›
Even Shatter and Dropkick only found out Bumblebee was there when he accidentally broadcast a tracking signal at them, and at no point do they show any awareness that there had been another Decepticon on the planet.Where was Megatron in Bumblebee? ›
According to Knight, though, he was originally intended to be in the film. “There was an iteration earlier on, where we actually did see Megatron in a scene that is no longer in the film, frozen in the Hoover dam,” the director tells Den of Geek UK when we catch up to talk all things Bumblebee.Is Bumblebee like a son to Optimus Prime? ›
Bumblebee was one of the most loyal followers of Optimus Prime before the days of the Cybertronian War. Having mentored and raised Bumblebee from his younger years, Optimus became a fatherly figure for him and regard him as a son.Will Charlie appear in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts? ›
However, the one character that didn't cameo in the latest film was Hailee Steinfeld who played Bumblebee's companion Charlie in the fan-favorite Autobot's self-titled spin-off. However, now Rise of the Beasts' director Steven Caple Jr. has revealed that Steinfeld almost did appear in the film.Who is bumblebees brother in Transformers? ›
Hot Rod is an arrogant Autobot and Bumblebee's brother-in-arms and partner.Is Optimus Prime going to be in Rise of the Beasts? ›
Optimus Prime and the Autobots team with the animal-themed Maximals to stop a world-eating threat in the new "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts."What is Rise of the Beasts a sequel to? ›
The film was a period piece that directly followed 2018's prequel film Bumblebee. Rise of the Beasts was not a direct sequel to that film. Instead, it continued that story in the universe of Transformers. It introduced other characters, like the Maximals, which opened up the world in an exciting direction.Will Optimus Primal be in Rise of the Beasts? ›
Released in the first wave of "Core" Rise of the Beasts Voyager Class figures, Optimus Primal is based on his appearance in the movie, and transforms into a mechanical gorilla with both bipedal and quadrupedal arrangements.What movies do I need to watch before Transformers: Rise of the Beasts? ›
- Bumblebee (2018) ...
- Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023) ...
- Transformers (2007) ...
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) ...
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) ...
- Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) ...
- Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
10 Optimus Prime Got His G1 Design After Michael Bay
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts features a new look for Optimus Prime that is inspired by his original G1 design from the cartoons. This change significantly alters his appearance, especially compared to his Michael Bay live-action counterpart.
Rise Of The Beasts Is Set Before Michael Bay's Transformers - So No Mark Wahlberg. Mark Wahlberg's Cade Yeager cannot be in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts because the movie takes place years before the events of Michael Bay's Transformers movies.Who is Optimus Prime's brother? ›
Ultra Magnus was created by Alpha Trion and brought online at exactly the same moment as his brother, Optimus Prime. They both served with distinction during the Cybertronian Civil Wars, presumably against the Predacons.Is Unicron in Rise of the Beasts? ›
Colman Domingo plays Unicron in Rise Of The Beasts, and the movie is presumably setting him up as the Big Bad for a new era of Transformers films.What universe is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts in? ›
It is confirmed that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is tied to Bumblebee's continuity. As for how Transformers: Rise of the Beasts connects to Michael Bay's franchise, producers for the upcoming movie have stated that they chose the 1994 setting to avoid his Transformers movies.How tall is Optimus Prime in Rise of the Beasts? ›
Screen to Reality, An Authentic Experience. Optimus Prime stands victorious at 16" tall after fighting the Predacons alongside the Maximals, in this ultra-realistic representation of the global blockbuster, Rise of the Beasts!Could Megatron be a prime? ›
In fact, Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons, the arch-enemies of the Autobots. While he has had a complicated history with the Autobots and even briefly held the title of Prime in some alternate universes, he is not considered a true Prime.Could Megatron become a prime? ›
There are no known universes of Megatron becoming Prime instead of Optimus. But if we're talking about Prime in deed, then maybe the Megatron from the Shattered Glass Universe could be a candidate. (Although, he really isn't called a Prime.)Is Rotb a sequel to Bumblebee? ›
It is the seventh installment in the Transformers live-action film series. Serving as a standalone sequel to Bumblebee (2018) and prequel to Transformers (2007), the film was directed by Steven Caple Jr. from a screenplay by Joby Harold, Darnell Metayer, Josh Peters, Erich Hoeber, and Jon Hoeber.Is Transformers 8 confirmed? ›
Transformers 8 & 9 Confirmed: Will Release After Rise Of The Beasts - IMDb. Paramount confirms plans for Transformers 8 and Transformers 9, both of which will release after Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
The full Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Trailer just dropped the movie's biggest reveal. And it's a swerve away from the mythology of the Michael Bay films, too. Unicron — the giant, planet-sized robot voiced by Orson Welles in the animated movie — will finally menace Earth in live-action.Why can't Bumblebee speak? ›
Upon being sent to Earth by Optimus Prime, Bumblebee is hunted by Decepticon Blitzwing, and he refuses to give up the location of his comrades. As a result, Blitzwing destroys Bumblebee's voice synthesizer, damaging it beyond repair, which prompts him to learn to use clips of audio to communicate.Is Cheetor a Bumblebee? ›
Cheetor was nothing like Bumblebee aside from the fact that he was kid-appeal.Is Bumblebee movie canon? ›
The film is essentially a prequel to the entire Transformers franchise. It's just on a more intimate scale than Michael Bay's all-action spectacles. That said, BUMBLEBEE isn't really expected to rewrite the canon at all. Instead, it will carefully work around the established history of our favorite Robots In Disguise.Who ripped out Bumblebees voice? ›
In the original movie continuity, Bumblebee is said to have had his voice damaged in a battle with Megatron and Ratchet had been trying to fix it. In this movie his voice box is ripped out by Blitzwing.Who is Bumblebees twin? ›
Stinger is a minor antagonist in the 2014 film Transformers Age of Extinction. His alt mode is a red and black Pagani Huayra and he is the evil twin of Bumblebee.Who is Bumblebees father? ›
|Relatives||Hornet (father) and Stinger (mother)|
|Allies||Acacia (formerly), Loft, Plum, Bug|
“He comes into the scene just absolutely leveling sh—, just laying waste to everything in his path like Sauron in The Lord of the Rings.” The producers of Bumblebee weren't sure how much fans expected the new film to match up with the earlier ones, so that weighed against adding Megatron to the opening battle.Was Starscream in Bumblebee? ›
Bumblebee. Starscream also appears in the 2018 film Bumblebee, albeit in a non-speaking role. He is shown to be working alongside his fellow Seekers Skywarp and Thrust. Ordered by Shockwave to destroy the launchpad that the Autobots are retreating to, he and his Seekers take flight and fly towards the targets.Where was Megatron in the ocean? ›
From Transformers Wiki
The USS Shoup prepares to drop Megatron's corpse into the Laurentian Abyss, far far below the waves. The Laurentian Abyss is an underwater depression off the eastern coast of Canada in the Atlantic Ocean, at least 6,000 meters in depth.
Bumblebee is the youngest, yellowest, and most energetic of the Autobots...as usual. A hyperactive wisecracker, Bumblebee is quite convinced he's the fastest—and coolest—thing on four wheels.Who is Optimus Prime's father? ›
Alpha Trion is ("more than almost like a") father to Optimus Prime and Elita One in the cartoon continuity.Who is Optimus Prime's son? ›
Prequel to "Optimus Prime's Lost Sparkling." Before the war began on Cybertron, Orion Pax (Optimus Prime) and Elita One welcomed a new member to their family. A son. His name was Sky Rocket (Rocket for short).Who is the 13th prime in Transformers? ›
Power of the Primes "The Thirteenth" is a retool of the Vector Prime/Metalhawk inner robot, replacing that toy's gray parts with new detailing based on Prima's appearance in the Marvel Generation 1 comic, packaged in the Throne of the Primes set. This toy has identical features to the other Prime Masters in the line.Who was bumblebees first owner? ›
Bumblebee, having made his way to a second-rate car dealership, became Sam Witwicky's first car.Who is Charlie's boyfriend in Bumblebee? ›
An unexpected delight is Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), who is Charlie's neighbor/friend/love interest. He has a lot of the same nerdy goofiness that Sam Witwicky had, but he never treats Charlie like an object. They actually have fun together, enjoy each other's company, and he respects her.What is Bumblebee's real name? ›
Transformers: Generation 1. Bumblebee (known as Abejorro in Mexico, Bumble in Japan, Moscardo in Portugal, Űrdongó in Hungary, Maggiolino in Italy) is the "little brother" of the heroic Autobots and a mascot, constantly striving to prove himself in the eyes of the other robots—especially his leader, Optimus Prime.Who is Bumblebee's daughter? ›
Rhea Beecher Duncan is the daughter of Karen Beecher and Mal Duncan.Who is Bumblebee's lover? ›
In Generation 1, Bumblebee had a romantic attraction to a human girl, Scarlett.Are Bumblebee and Rise of the Beasts in the same universe? ›
Technically, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts takes place in the same universe as the 2018 Transformers film, Bumblebee, which obviously introduced a new iteration of the title character.
Rise of the Beasts is not an adaptation of any storyline from Beast Wars. Rather, the film adapts a select number of characters from the television series and incorporates them into the extant world of the Transformers live-action films.Where does Bumblebee fit in the Transformers timeline? ›
Bumblebee arrives on Earth a few years before the main story of the film, which is set in 1987, begins. This means that, at most, Bumblebee first set (robotic) foot on Earth in 1985, long after the end of the second World War.Will Bumblebee be in Transformers 7? ›
Transformers 7: Rise of the Beasts robots and more
Bumblebee, an Autobot scout that transforms into a yellow 1970s Chevrolet Camaro.
“He comes into the scene just absolutely leveling sh—, just laying waste to everything in his path like Sauron in The Lord of the Rings.” The producers of Bumblebee weren't sure how much fans expected the new film to match up with the earlier ones, so that weighed against adding Megatron to the opening battle.Is Megatron in Beast Wars the same Megatron? ›
"Beast" Megatron is the leader of the Predacons and a major and supporting antagonist in Transformers: War for Cybertron: Kingdom. He is the Predacon counterpart of Megatron. He comes from a dystopian future that he tries to avoid by finding the original Megatron in the past and helping it get the Allspark back.Is Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal the same thing? ›
The answer is a resounding no. The two characters are very different. As a matter of fact, the trailers we have seen up to this point indicate a possible, and likely short-lived, conflict between the two. This is actually based in recent history for the franchise.Can Bumblebee go toe toe with Optimus Prime? ›
Master Combatant: Bumblebee was skilled enough to go toe to toe with Optimus Prime when he was being mind controlled. Even though he was beaten by Optimus and was about to die, he was still a formidable and fierce opponent.How did Bumblebee lose his voice? ›
B-127 quickly scans a nearby Jeep and escapes but is ambushed by the Decepticon known as Blitzwing (David Sobolov). Blitzwing pushes B-127 for information regarding Optimus Prime's location, but the fiery yellow bot refuses. Angered, Blitzwing rips out B-127's voice box, damaging his memory core in the process.Did Optimus Prime raise Bumblebee? ›
Bumblebee was one of the most loyal followers of Optimus Prime before the days of the Cybertronian War. Having mentored and raised Bumblebee from his younger years, Optimus became a fatherly figure for him and regard him as a son.