If you’re a Transformers fan of a certain age, there’s one name in particular sure to conjure a sense of awe and fear: Unicron. No, it’s not some unexpected COVID variant, but one of the deadliest foes in the robots-in-disguise franchise – a Galactus-esque planet-eater who originally menaced the Autobots in 1986’s animated favourite Transformers: The Movie. Now, he’s back to strike fear into our heroes’ metal hearts in live-action in Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts – colliding the post-Bumblebee movie universe with the wild lore of ‘90s animated series Beast Wars, and throwing the biggest of baddies into the mix too. Check out the supersized trailer here.
There’s plenty to unpack there – away from the Unicron devastation, this one centres on Anthony Ramos’ Noah in 1994 New York, where grey Porsche Mirage unveils himself as an Autobot (voiced by none other than Pete Davidson). And while familiar favourites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are back, much of the focus here is on the Maximals – animal-themed automatons, including Ron Perlman’s gorilla-shaped Optimus Primal (see what they did there) and Michelle Yeoh’s winged Airazor. They arrive into the mythology with a dire warning – and with Unicron looming, there’s much to be worried about. The Maximals look to pull their weight in the action stakes too – that mid-battle tracking shot is pretty thrilling to behold.
On the human side of things, Ramos is joined by Dominique Fishback (having a great year already thanks to Prime Video satirical horror series Swarm), with Creed II director Steven Caple Jr behind the camera this time around. On script duties is Joby Harold, having recently written on Obi-Wan Kenobi and contributed on story duties for The Flash.
Are audiences ready to delve into the dizzying world of the Maximals? How much havoc will Unicron wreak? And can this follow in the footsteps of Bumblebee to deliver a more human and heartfelt Transformers movie after the sheer Bay-hem of the first five films? We’ll find out when Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts hits UK cinemas from 8 June.