Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts Is The Start Of A Planned Trilogy

I think I speak for everyone at /Film when I say we're still recovering from the avalanche of news that came out of Paramount's investor event on February 15, 2022. (Or, as David Harbour's character in "No Sudden Move" so eloquently put it, "My God ... it's only Tuesday." Wait, no, it's Wednesday. You see what I mean?) Amidst the announcements about new "Star Trek" movies, Taylor Sheridan series, "Sonic the Hedgehog" sequels, and much more, the studio also confirmed that the next live-action "Transformers" film, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts," is the start of a planned trilogy.

"Rise of the Beasts," for those who need a refresher, is the seventh live-action "Transformers" movie to date and only the second to be directed by someone other than Michael Bay after 2018's "Bumblebee." Steven Caple Jr., who helmed the rock-solid "Creed II," is calling the shots on the film, which adapts the "Transformers" sub-franchise "Beast Wars" to live-action for the first time. Rising stars Anthony Ramos ("In the Heights") and Dominique Fishback ("Judas and the Black Messiah") are playing the movie's human leads, with Ron Perlman lending his voice to the Cybertronian hero Optimus Primal, a character who's also new to the big screen. So, yeah, franchise fatigue aside, there's a fair amount to like about the latest "Transformers" film on paper.

...But that's not all

On top of confirming that "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" will be "the first of three new [planned] installments," the official Paramount+ Twitter account reminded everyone that a new animated "Transformers" series is due to premiere on Nickelodeon this fall, with a "CG animated Transformers theatrical film" arriving in 2024. The latter is being directed by Josh Cooley ("Toy Story 4") from a script by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari ("Ant-Man and the Wasp"), and is described as a prequel movie that takes place primarily on Cybertron and explores the origins of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons. In other words, if you're a fan of all things "Transformers," then there's plenty (too much?) to look forward to over the next couple of years.

In all honesty, it's a shame Paramount didn't bring in some fresh talent to work on the "Transformers" movies years before "Bumblebee." Director Travis Knight found the beating heart beneath the robotic franchise with his prequel film, which featured a story and characters worth caring about, along with some of the most visually-pleasing (and cohesive) action scenes in the property to date. "Bumblebee" was also the lowest-grossing entry in the franchise so far (hence the lack of updates about a direct sequel) — which is to say, I've no idea if "Transformers" fans will be energized or just exhausted by the idea of another movie trilogy at this stage, no matter how well it's handled.

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" opens in U.S. theaters on June 9, 2023, with Cooley's CG animated "Transformers" film arriving sometime the year after.