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The next Transformers movie is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and yes that means what you think

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Beast Wars is coming to the big screen

A group shot of the Maximals from the Beast Wars animated series. Image: Hasbro/Takara Image

The Beast Wars are coming to the big screen. The next Transformers movie, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, will introduce characters from the popular Beast Wars cartoon and line of toys.

The new movie, which just entered production, will be set in 1994, taking place between Bumblebee’s 1987 setting and the 2000s-set Michael Bay films. It will introduce the Maximals and Predacons from the original cartoon and toy line, while also introducing a new threat, the Terrorcons, which will be the main antagonists of the film. The Autobots will also return, most notably Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. In a way, Rise of the Beasts will be a bit of an origin story for him, showcasing how he became the leader that fans are familiar with in the conflict with the Terrorcons, led by a villain named Scurge.

“Terrorcons are a new threat to this universe. When the Terrorcons enter the film, when they disrupt our movie, you’re gonna feel it,” said director Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II) during today’s announcement, made at a virtual production kickoff hosted by Paramount Studios.

Plot details are still under wraps and no footage was shown during the event, but Caple Jr. and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura showed off images of a few other Transformers joining the cast. Bumblebee returns alongside Optimus in an off-road Camaro form, and Mirage and Arcee will round out the Autobot roster as a Porsche 911 and Ducati 916, respectively. According to Caple Jr., the designs are inspired by the Autobots’ original G1 looks. The concept art shown at the event isn’t available to share here, but this appears to be true — they’re less the sinewy weird metal from the Michael Bay films and a little boxier, more obviously reconfigured car parts.

Three Maximals were also revealed: Airazor, Rhinox, and Optimus Primal, only shown off in their animal form, each more statuesque and organic than machine.

For the human side of things, actors Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah) are going to be introducing us to this new robot war. Fishback will play Elena, an artifact researcher at a museum trying to get ahead despite her boss constantly taking credit for her work.

Ramos, meanwhile, will play Noah, a Brooklyn-born young man who has returned home to his mother and younger brother after military service and is trying to find his feet in mid-’90s Brooklyn. Noah is from “a low-income home” and “always hustling,” notes Ramos, who says his character is also gifted with electronics, which will doubtless be useful in his adventure with giant robots.

Ramos said he also learned to drive for his role in the Beast War. “I got my license two weeks ago for this film!” he laughed.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will premiere June 24, 2022.