Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts - Everything You Need To Know

The "Transformers" franchise is a multibillion-dollar sensation thanks to its can't-lose combination of fast cars, low-angle cameras, and robots that both rock 'em and sock 'em. It also delivers serious spectacle with the Michael Bay-directed films and got a bit more intimate with the 2018 prequel "Bumblebee."

Now, the series plans to take fans into new territory yet again with "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts," a film set in a new time period, featuring new human characters and some pretty awesome-looking robots — both friend and foe. In other words, things are about to get even more beastly and badass. If you want to know more about the new installment in the popular franchise — like the incredibly talented voice cast, where in the timeline this takes place, and which characters are showing up for battle — then read on for everything we know so far about "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts."

When will Transformers: Rise of the Beasts be released?

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" will be hitting cinemas in 2023. It was originally set to hit theaters on June 24, 2022, however, the seventh installment of the robot franchise was bumped back by almost a full year. Now, the film is set to be released on June 9, 2023, in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. It will arrive in some European countries — including Italy, France, and Iceland — a little earlier, premiering on June 7. Other countries such as Australia and New Zealand will have to wait a little longer — until June 22 — to see the film.

June 2023 will be a pretty crowded month for blockbusters and tentpole movies. "Rise of the Beasts" will find itself competing against some pretty awesome 2023 movies such as "Elemental," "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," and "The Flash."

"Rise of the Beasts" has a comparable budget to DC's superhero film of $200 million, but with the controversy surrounding the film's lead, Ezra Miller, it's unclear how the highly anticipated movie will fare. So, we'll be fascinated to see if "Rise of the Beasts" can defeat its theatrical foes and claim the title of the summer movie champion.

What is the plot of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" will see the Autobots and Decepticons duking it out again, while also ushering in previously unseen characters and a different story to breathe new life into the franchise. The seventh "Transformers" installment – which is set in 1994 – will follow a veteran named Noah, a man who loves his family and is looking for redemption for past mistakes. The female co-lead is named Elena, a museum researcher whose knowledge of artifacts will no doubt factor heavily into the plot. It's possible that through her work, she, Noah, and the Autobots discover the existence of three new tribes of Cybertronians — the reptilian Predacons, the villainous Terrorcons, and the heroic Maximals – who are all making their debut in this film.

While Optimus Prime and Bumblebee have often been the most notable Autobots — taking the lead in the original trilogy and the 2018 prequel respectively — it's Mirage who forms the closest bond with the humans in this film. It's likely that he'll be Noah and Elena's introduction to the Autobots — the same way that Bumblebee was for Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).

The movie's official synopsis doesn't reveal a lot, but it does confirm that the Maximals will ally themselves with the Autobots in a battle against the Terrorcons, Predacons, and Decepticons. Since this is a prequel, we know that the heroes don't succeed in wiping out the Decepticons, but fan-favorite characters like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee will live to see another fight.

Who is directing Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?

For the most part, the "Transformers" franchise is Michael Bay's gigantic, explosive, musclebound baby. The blockbuster auteur helmed the first five films of the franchise to great box office earnings and mixed critical acclaim. For the 2018 prequel, "Bumblebee," directing duties were given to Travis Knight — who also directed the animated film "Kubo and the Two Strings."

Now, a third filmmaker will enter the franchise, and Steven Caple Jr. will direct "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts." Caple made his feature-length directorial debut with 2016's "The Land," a tale of four teenage skateboarders drawing the wrath of a crime boss after stealing a car full of drugs. He followed that up with "Creed II," which saw Michael B. Jordan's titular boxer grappling with his past and battling a Russian bruiser. He's also worked on the TV shows "Rapture" and "Grown-ish."

Speaking with Trey Mangum of Shadow and Act (via Yahoo!), Caple explained what he's going for with "Rise of the Beasts," saying, "There's a lot of heart and emotion that I draw from. If you've seen any of my work, I love to stay grounded, even though the scope could be here and we're blowing up stuff."

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is going to be a new story

At their core, "Transformers" stories are about good versus evil, truth, freedom, the importance of humanity, and doing the right thing even when it's hard. These themes are showcased through unlikely heroes like Sam, Cade (Mark Wahlberg), and Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld). This will be the case again in "Rise of the Beasts," and director Steven Caple Jr. has made it clear he wants the movie to show that heroes come in all different shapes and sizes.

The entire creative team is in support of this messaging and is keen to make sure viewers meet new heroes (and villains) and aren't just getting another version of the same old battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. "I wanna start by saying that what we're trying to do with this movie is to give the audience a lot of new," producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura teased during an interview with Collider. He added: "If you've seen and been a fan of the other movies, you're gonna see villains you've never seen before, you're gonna see Autobots you've never seen before, and you're gonna see a lot of elements that we've never done before."

Optimus Prime is the robot connecting the franchise

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" is bringing a lot of new elements to the big screen franchise, but one constant that viewers can count on is Peter Cullen who is back voicing the Autobot Optimus Prime. As the strong and steady leader of the Autobots, Optimus is the common thread throughout the "Transformer" franchise. But, leaning into that theme of new, viewers are going to see a different side to him this time around. Being a prequel movie, there's an opportunity for fans to see Optimus grow as a character since at this stage he's still figuring out his place on earth.

His journey to becoming Earth's protector is just beginning. "In this film, it's forming why he has a link to humanity and why he has a link to earth, and that's emotional," director Stephen Caple Jr. said in an interview with Collider. Viewers might find a more relatable angle in the character, too. Caple Jr. added: "It's not home yet to him. He's like an ex-pat here. He's landed, he's an alien, and he's never been here before. That allows us to get underneath the stoicism of what we've traditionally presented in Prime." And so at this stage, he's going to look less like the Optimus from the Michael Bay films and much more like the G1 robot viewers saw in "Bumblebee."

Who are the new protagonists?

As well as some returning cast members, there are some fresh additions as well. The new human lead characters are played by Anthony Ramos of "Hamilton" and "In the Heights" who will star as Noah, and Dominique Fishback of "Judas and the Black Messiah" who will play Elena.

Despite being new to the franchise, both actors have long histories with "Transformers," making them perfect for these roles. Ramos spoke to People about his long love of "Transformers," revealing that it was the animated show "Beast Wars" that got him into the franchise when he was growing up. "I was [in front of the TV] every week watching 'Beast Wars.' So when I read the script, I saw we were gonna have them in the movie, my head almost exploded off of my body," he said.

Meanwhile, Shia LaBeouf was Fishback's window into the "Transformers" universe. The Disney Channel fan said: "I used to watch Shia on 'Even Stevens,' so to watch him go from this Disney kid to this movie star and being in the 'Transformers' films, I was like, 'Oh, man, I wanna do something like that!' I couldn't imagine that almost 20 years later, I would be doing it as well." per Collider.

In the same interview, both Ramos and Fishback confirmed that they learned to drive specifically for the movie so that suggests they'll be highly involved in a few of those iconic "Transformers" car chase scenes.

Introducing new Transformers

To bring about this new story, the creative team behind "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" are introducing three new robot tribes — Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons — to the existing battle on earth between the Autobots and Decepticons. The introduction of these new Cybertronians will change the course of the Autobot-Decepticon war that viewers have seen so far. "We had somewhat exhausted, I would say, [that] battle ... So, our hope was, how do we find a new set of villains and a new set of priorities for the villains?" Lorenzo di Bonaventura explained to Collider.

However, the producer quickly noted that there were lots of tribes and new characters from the extended "Transformers" universe who had yet to be seen on the silver screen. The Predacons and Terrorcons fall on the side of the Decepticons, while the Maximals are a new tribe of heroes. These new transformers turn into robotic animals and birds.

Optimus Primal is the leader of the Maximals and transforms into a gorilla-like beast. Teasing a little more about what viewers can expect from these animalistic heroes, Steven Caple Jr. explained to USA Today: "In our particular film, they're these prehistoric animals that travel through time and space, and we find them here on Earth."

Bad guy 101: What you need to know about the Terrorcons

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" introduces both the Predacons and Terrorcons as two new factions of Decepticons, but one should be feared more than the other. "When the Terrorcons enter the screen and disrupt our movie, you're gonna feel it," director Steven Caple Jr. said to Collider. These robots are the main villains of the film, and they are led by Scourge — a merciless predator who takes pleasure in stealing insignias from the fallen Autobots he defeats. Caple Jr. was particularly excited about including Scourge, who was a blank slate for big-screen viewers. "It felt like Scourge was someone that was untapped. That not only allowed me freedom, but it also created this super ruthless and scary character," he said.

Scourge's right hand is the shape-shifting Terrorcon Nightbird. She has been adapted from "Transformers: Generation 1" cartoon for the movie, and according to Caple Jr., she's had some modifications made to her. She has a vehicle form that is new but also possesses ninja traits that are carried over. Teasing more about her history, Lorenzo di Bonaventura said: "What I find very interesting is that she switched sides and now she's a Terrorcon who has joined that side of it. Her history is one that has had flexible alliances, which is fun."

Meet the rest of the cast

Alongside newcomers, Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" also boasts several other notable cast members. The Lord of Casterly Rock himself, Peter Dinklage, will voice the villainous Scourge. Ron Perlman will play the silverback Optimus Primal — a character he portrayed before in the animated "Transformers: Power of the Prime" series. Pete Davidson will take over the role of Autobot Mirage from the late Francesco Quinn, and Michelle Yeoh will voice Airazor — the falcon member of the Maximals.

Rounding out the cast, we've got Liza Koshy as Arcee, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Nightbird, John DiMaggio as Stratosphere, David Sobolov as Rhinox/Battletrap, Tobe Nwigwe as Reek, and Cristo Fernández as Wheeljack. Plus, Luna Lauren Vélez of "Dexter" and "Ugly Betty" will play Noah's mom.

One character notably missing from this list is Bumblebee, who was voiced by Dylan O'Brien in his 2018 solo outing. O'Brien's return to the franchise hasn't been confirmed and his commitment to other features like "Ponyboi" has no doubt been keeping him busy. However, a voice role in the movie is definitely not out of the question, and viewers may just have to wait until the film is released to get confirmation.

Where is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts set?

It's pretty common for "Transformers" to explore different locations across the globe, showcasing how widely spread the Transformers have become. They don't just exist in cities like New York and Chicago, they also hide out in the deserts of Egypt and Jordan — like in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" — while "Transformers: Age of Extinction" took viewers off to far-flung locations like China and Iceland.

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" follows a similar pattern. The film traverses continents, taking viewers to locations like Brooklyn, New York, and Peru. Additionally, the movie was filmed in a few more places, including Los Angeles and Montreal. However, it was the South American locations that most excited the film's director Steven Caple Jr. "Very few films have been shot, not only in Peru, but also Machu Picchu, and they opened the doors for us," he revealed to Collider.

He added: "I'm grateful to collaborate with Peru and highlight Peru's culture and the ancient civilization. They have beautiful landscapes and sites, but most importantly, beautiful people, and I'm excited about that." This location is no doubt going to be important for the character of Elena. As a museum researcher, this may be where she discovers one or more important artifacts relating to the Terrorcons.

Where does it fit in the Transformers movie timeline?

The "Transformers" movie franchise sprang into action in 2007 when Shia LaBeouf played Sam Witwicky, a shy but smart high school kid. But, with the help of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and their transforming friends, as well as Megan Fox's Mikaela Banes, Josh Duhamel's Colonel William Lennox, and John Turturro's Agent Simmons, he became an earth-saving hero. LaBeouf returned twice more with his companions, but in his third outing, Fox was replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who played his new love interest, Carly.

This was Sam and Carly's last appearance and director Michael Bay went on to helm a new duology starring Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz-Beckham. After this, Travis Knight took the franchise back a couple of decades to 1987, introducing a younger Bumblebee to Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie.

"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" is set eight years after Charlie's adventures with the Transformers. Following the emotional ending of "Bumblebee" — which saw Charlie and Bee part ways after saving the day together — Charlie chose to stay with her family and friends, while Bee had to embark on a new mission of his own. And don't worry, the new movie doesn't erase or negatively impact the Michael Bay movies. As director Steven Caple Jr. explained to The Hollywood Reporter, "It doesn't mess up any of the timeline in 2006, 2007. We're actually going in a direction that allows us to protect that side of the universe, but that's all you need to know."

How it continues from Bumblebee

After his adventures with Charlie, Bee's new mission was to reunite the Autobots, and it appears that in the years since he has done just that, as "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" picks up with the fan-favorite robots back together. Discussing how the setting of 1994 came about, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura explained, "We were thinking about it as a progression. 'Bumblebee' was in 1987, so then how do we move it forward and also not run into the timeline of the Bay films? We had picked '94, in part because there was great music during that time period, so it felt like that natural extension."

This fits perfectly with director Steven Caple Jr's vision for the film. After reading the script, he felt very connected to the time period and continuing this story. He also noted that along with the music Bonaventura plans to capture, there's going to be a lot of '90s culture and aesthetics throughout the film. So, it sounds like viewers can expect a great nostalgia trip from "Rise of the Beasts."

It is inspired by Beast Wars

Steven Caple Jr. grew up watching the animated "Transformers" TV series "Beast Wars," which ran from 1996 to 1999. And since the movie takes a lot of inspiration from the show, it's no wonder Caple Jr. found himself at the helm. "What brought me to the project was the chance to imagine on a different level and to dream. That's what 'Transformers' means to me. Dealing with robots, dealing with humans, and creating that bond, it's all about the emotion and where we can take our new characters," he told Collider.

However, despite the inspiration "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" takes from the '90s show, not every element of it is being carried over exactly as it was. For "Transformers" fans who are familiar with "Beast Wars," it's important to note that the 2023 movie has taken some creative license — not least by introducing a whole new crew of voice actors.

Time travel is one element from the series that Caple Jr. has indicated will be carried over — however, it won't be in the same way viewers have seen before — and the movie's timeline will differ from the one established in "Beast Wars" which is set 300 years in the future.

The tone of the film is going to be different from past Transformers movies

Every director brings their own ideas and creativity to a project. Michael Bay did this with the first five "Transformers" films, putting his unique stamp on the franchise and delivering on the themes of heroes and villains, good overcoming evil and hope overcoming loss.

But moving forward from those films, Lorenzo di Bonaventura said Steven Caple Jr. brought a must-needed new perspective. "We were trying to accomplish a certain change up from the movies we did with Michael [Bay]. We wanna deliver a film that has the scale and spectacle of the Bay films with the heart and humor that we were able to achieve in Bumblebee," he explained to Collider.

Caple Jr.'s new perspective brought with it a darker tone to the movie. The fact that the main villains literally have the word "terror" in their name should instantly instill fear, according to the director who is planning to take that darker energy and run with it. "I wanna dabble more in horror in this one and make people jump out of their seats," he teased.

Is there a trailer for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?

The trailer for "Rise of the Beasts" dropped at Brazil's CCXP on December 1, 2022, and the online reaction was overwhelmingly positive. After all, it features plenty of aerial action, high-speed chases, and Maximal awesomeness.

It all starts with a grave warning: "For millions of years, our world has transformed. But something else has awakened." We then see our heroes, Noah and Elena, in the jungles of Peru, where they're faced with a fearsome Optimus Primal. And that's when his Autobot counterpart shows up, ready to defend the humans. However, the showdown is defused when Primal says in his commanding Ron Perlman voice, "I'm not the one to fear, Prime. There is a darkness coming."

In fact, Primal is full of great lines. Near the end of the action-packed trailer, he gravely intones, "Of all the threats, from both your past and future, you've never faced anything like this." While that might be bad news for the Autobots and Maximals, it's great news for excited "Transformers" fans.

Will there be more Transformers movies after Rise of the Beasts?

You can't stop the "Transformers." After all, they've earned over $4.8 billion at the worldwide box office, and they finally got some critical cred with their last venture, "Bumblebee." If Paramount gets its way, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" won't be the last time these robots take over our theater screens.

In February 2022, Collider reported that the official Paramount Twitter had announced "Rise of the Beasts" would be the first installment of a new trilogy. Assuming that "Rise of the Beasts" does solid business, chances are good we'll see Noah, Elena, the Maximals, and Optimus Prime back on the big screen pretty soon.

A CG-animated "Transformers" theatrical film will also follow in 2024 but is separate from the upcoming trilogy. The upcoming animated feature will be an origins story for Optimus Prime and Megatron. It will be set on Cybertron and have "Superman" and Krypton influences, according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

What else do we know about Transformers: Rise of the beasts?

We've covered almost everything you need to know about "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts," but before we wrap things up, there are a few more small details that you need to know. Speaking to Collider, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura spoke about how much action viewers can expect to see in "Rise of the Beasts," confirming that the film will strike a nice balance of CGI and practical elements. This means real-life stunts, which is where Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback's newly minted driver's licenses might come in handy.

Alongside a stacked cast, there's also plenty of talent behind-the-scenes too. Joining Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Steven Caple Jr. is Joby Harold, who created the story for "Rise of the Beasts" and co-wrote the screenplay. Sci-fi fans will know Harold best as the producer behind the Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi." He's also worked as a writer on DC's 2023 movie "The Flash," which is in direct competition with this "Transformers" feature.

Additionally, "Rise of the Beasts" will be rated PG-13 like all the other movies in the "Transformers" franchise.