The first teaser trailer for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was released, giving fans an exciting preview of the 90s nostalgia and fresh set of characters in this edition to the Transformers film series. This addition is planned to be the first installment for a new trilogy, which follows the same continuity as Bumblebee from 2018. Inspired by the 1996 Transformers: Beast Wars television show, this movie will feature two new factions of Transformers: the animalistic Maximals and the dangerous Terrorcons. The teaser trailer features a first look at the expanded roster of Transformers ready to hit the big screen, so we’ll take a look and get primed for the action that is on its way.
Prime Meets Primal
The trailer pulls no punches and quickly throws viewers into the action with a shot of an enormous mechanical gorilla leaping into the scene and beating its chest like King Kong. This shot is an exciting moment for fans of the extended Transformers universe as it shows the leader of the Maximals, Optimus Primal, in all his power. The name isn’t a typo either; Optimus Primal is the leader of the Maximals in the same vein that Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots. In the television show, the Maximals were a faction of Transformers descended from the Autobots, continuing to fight for their home against evil forces. Though unconfirmed by the trailer, it’s likely that the Maximals have come from the future as well with Primal, voiced by Ron Perlman, warning Optimus Prime of the impending danger from “both your past and future.” The defining difference maker for Maximals is their choice of transformation, as these robots disguise themselves as animals rather than vehicles, explaining the image of a giant robotic gorilla facing off against Optimus Prime himself. The meeting between Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal is a standoff between two righteous powerhouses that are destined to become strong allies, featuring designs pulled straight from the classic Transformers and Transformers: Beast Wars television shows.
Prime, who is played by his most recognizable voice actor Peter Cullen, is shown with his new design to match the Bumblebee continuity. His design harkens back to the classic ’80s show, with a boxy frame and the return of his iconic faceplate.
The return to classic form is also apparent in his vehicle form, as Prime is shown cruising across a bridge in his vintage flat-nosed truck form stylized with his vibrant reds, blues and silvers.
Need For Speed
We’re also given a look at Bumblebee with an upgraded design from his 2018 movie. Bridging the gap between the 80s and 2000s versions of the character, this revamped Bee has all the recognizable features of the bot in an upgraded, yet still retro, design. Though Bee was the star of the previous Transformers movie, it appears that he will be sharing the spotlight with the other new additions to the cast.
The trailer also introduces us to Noah and Mirage. Noah, played by Anthony Ramos, will take the ever-important position of human ally for the Autobots. Continuing the legacy of Sam Witwicky, Noah is shown in frantic disarray as his car, emblazoned with the Autobot logo viewers are familiar with, takes control and forces him to flee from the police.
His new car and partner Mirage is set to be voiced by Pete Davidson and takes the chance to show off the reason behind his name by creating several decoy holograms to help them escape from their pursuers. The heart of the live-action Transformers movies has always resided with the human characters, who serve as a grounding connection to the otherworldly robots.
The trailer continues to share the expanded roster of robots in disguise in a series of thrilling action shots. We see Bumblebee in a vehicle mode more focused on off-road than previous forms. Alongside him is the next Maximal we are introduced to: Cheetor. The sprinting, mechanized cheetah looms over Bee, making it clear that though the Maximals derive their alternate modes from animals, they are altered versions that look more Cybertronian than Earth-based. The interactions between the two yellow bots will be exciting for fans, as both Bumblebee and Cheetor hold the “younger brother” role amidst their respective factions. They are both speedy, confident, yellow, and carry a youthfulness that makes them integral to their team dynamics.
Maximals and Terrorcons are revealed in quick succession. There’s a brief glimpse of the soaring Airazor, voiced by Michelle Yeoh. The Maximal shows off her dynamic falcon mode and her explosive flamethrower. Airazor was the recon specialist of the Maximals and had one of the more unique storylines in the original series. Of the Maximals in the ’90s show, Airazor was one of two bots who had their landing pod on Earth damaged, leading to a more intimate relationship with her beast form as a means for survival.
Following the falcon we see Arcee, the most iconic female Autobot. Though she has appeared in some live-action films previously, this iteration of the character looks to have a larger and more dynamic role in this movie. Her design, like Prime’s, is reminiscent of her look in the original television series, but updated to modern aesthetic. Considering the abundance of male Transformers in the franchise, the inclusion of Arcee is an exciting progression for the series. She is seen grabbing onto a Volkswagen camper van to help her skate across the road and fight back against her opponent. In keeping with the “Robots in Disguise” tagline, the VW van itself is actually another Autobot in their alternate mode. Wheeljack, one of the top Autobot scientists, appeared briefly in Bubmblebee and forgoes the usual look he has had in other versions to take the form of a more discreet van in this trailer. Liza Koshy voices Arcee and Cristo Fernández will voice Wheeljack.
We also see Rhinox in his beast form, opening his jaw to fire an energy blast. The mechanical rhinoceros is another powerful Maximal and loyal ally to Primal and his cause. David Sobolov will be the voice actor for Rhinox and is actually a returning player from the original 1990s TV show, though he voiced a different character in that series.
Though there are no Decepticons in this trailer, there is no shortage of villains seen in this sequence, as we get our first looks at the Terrorcons. This faction of Transformers are implied to have a deep connection to the Autobots, either from their past or their future. First we see Battletrap in both his orange armored truck mode and in robot form, charging against the Autobots and Maximals. Sobolov takes on two roles in the film, also voicing Battletrap in addition to Rhinox.
Scourge, the leader of these mysterious Terrorcons, makes a memorable appearance as he utterly dominates over Bumblebee in combat. The fight appears brutal and Bee looks to be in serious danger, showing the immense threat that the Terrorcons pose to our heroes. Given that Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal will be working together, Scourge is set up to be an incredibly powerful antagonist for the heroes. Peter Dinklage will be the voice of the Terrorcon leader.
We see our heroes and villains face off in a dynamic sequence that shows the robot forms of Optimus Primal and Cheetor in brief flashes.
Partners in Crime
The trailer closes with a moment of humanity, focusing on Elena, one of the other human protagonists of the film. Dominique Fishback portrays this role and, in classic Transformers fashion, appears entirely unexcited about the prospect of a transforming robot/motorcycle.
By the end of the trailer we meet back again with Noah and Mirage. The two appear to have developed a stronger connection and synergy, as the former confidently saunters out of the car while the latter seamlessly transforms into his robot form around him.
Autobots will roll out and Maximals will maximize on June 9, 2023, with the premiere of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.