'Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts' Will Continue The Franchise, Explore The 'Beast Wars' Characters

It's been three years since Bumblebee, and since Paramount doesn't want one of its biggest film franchises to gather dust, we're getting a new Transformers movie. Today, the studio revealed that the next film will be a prequel called Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and it will explore characters from Beast Wars, a spin-off of the original Transformers animated series that focused on descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons. Get some new details below.

Anthony Ramos (In the Heights, Hamilton) and Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah) were previously announced as the stars of this new Transformers movie, which will not be directed by franchise stalwart Michael Bay but instead will be helmed by Creed II director Steven Caple Jr. The studio has several different Transformers projects in development, and it sounds like this may be the result of combining two of those projects into a single movie.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Plot and Setting

If you're wondering, "OK, what the heck is Beast Wars?", you are absolutely not alone. Evidently, they're prehistoric animals who travel through time and space, with the same type of dynamic as the Autobots and Decepticons – except this time, we're largely going to be dealing with races called Predacons and Maximals, which are essentially animal versions of Transformers. (Hey, don't look at me...this stuff was made specifically to sell toys, remember?) This film finds the Beast Wars characters on Earth, and the majority of this movie is going to be set in 1994 in New York City, which is familiar territory for Ramos, who just sang and danced his way through NYC in Jon M. Chu's In the Heights.

If you're wondering who the villains are going to be this time around, it sounds like our heroes are going to be facing off against a race called the Terrorcons, which are basically zombie versions of Transformers. According to the Transformers Wiki:

Born from dead Transformers infused with Dark Energon, the Terrorcons are Megatron's greatest asset—an undead army under his thrall. Each is powerful and relentless in its own right; en masse, their persistence and Dark Energon they radiate can sap the strength of their Autobot prey until they can pull it down and tear it apart. Thankfully, they are not invulnerable. Energy blasts of sufficient force can deter them, though the best method is to use bladed weapons to slice them to pieces—the smaller the better—as the Dark Energon charge cannot sustain itself within the smaller, disparate components.

Zombie Transformers, eh? Okay, then! I guess at least they're continuing to take big swings with these movies, so here's hoping this ends up being one of the more entertaining entries in the franchise.

Production is currently underway on Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, which is now set to arrive on June 24, 2022.