It’s not just cars anymore. Paramount has announced that the next Transformers film will be titled Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and it has released a plot description that basically says that the film will bring in the idea of transforming animals, if not characters explicitly from the classic CGI animated television show Beast Wars: Transformers. The surprising title and plot description also came with a release date of June 24, 2022.
“Returning to the action and spectacle that first captured moviegoers around the world 14 years ago with the original Transformers, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take audiences on a ‘90s globetrotting adventure and introduce the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons to the existing battle on earth between Autobots and Decepticons,” the official description reads, with all of those names pulled directly from the cartoon show.
Directed by Creed II director Steven Caple Jr. and starring Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is looking to yet again give the franchise a shot in the arm, and what better way than to bring in Beast Wars, possibly the franchise’s second most popular outing? The show ran from 1996 to 1999 and had a follow-up series that ran for two seasons afterward. It was one of the early fully CGI cartoons around, and instead of the robots hiding in plain sight as cars on Earth, they instead transformed into animals, duking it out 300 years in the future on an unknown planet. Obviously, there will be some plot shifts with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts as the Maximals and Predacons appear to be concurrent with Optimus Prime and the other Transformers, so we’ll have to see how it all plays out.
It’s also unclear how connected this one will be to the critically loved Bumblebee. That movie took place in the ’80s and set up sequels with the Autobots coming to Earth, but the box office wasn’t as strong as Paramount had wanted. The plot descriptions calling back to the original Michael Bay Transformers could mean we’re in for a film closer to that movie, which would be too bad because Bumblebee was legitimately great and featured the best Transformer designs the franchise had seen.
This isn’t Paramount’s only Transformers film. The studio is also said to have tapped Angel Manuel Soto to direct another film, not connected to this universe.