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Lorenzo di Bonaventura drops loads of details on upcoming Transformers animated movie

April 21st, 2023 by Marc Comments

You may recall that waaaaaay back on May 2020 I reported that, as well as all the live-action Transformers goodness that was coming, an animated movie was being planned too (here), well, we finally have some details.

At the time I reported that the movie would be standalone, take place on Cybertron and focus on the tragic friendship between a young Optimus Prime and Megatron:

Hasbro’s entertainment studio eOne and Paramount have hired Toy Story 4 director (and writer of Inside Out, both Oscar winners) Josh Cooley to direct a Transformers theatrical origin story set of the planet of Cybertron.

The movie will focus on the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron – will Prime be called Orion Pax, the name many of the origin stories have Prime called before the Matrix of Leadership chose him to lead the heroic Autobots?

Before the war the two were friends – brothers almost – who saw conflict drive them apart… it is one of the epic tales of good versus evil and could be amazing if done, you know, with giant warring ‘bots.

And it seems I was right.

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The movie’s producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who also produces the live-action movies including the upcoming Rise of the Beasts, will tell a story bigger than Prime and Megatron, it’s going to tell the story of where the Transformers came from.

I could tell you really important parts of this story, which is more than a tease. This is something we were trying to do; we debated a lot about it in live action, and it just was financially impossible to do, which is, the origin story of young Megatron and young Optimus,” he says.

“If you know the origin, they started as friends, and over time things devolved for them and they ended up on two sides. So we’re telling the young Optimus and the young Megatron story. We really are telling the origin story of all Transformers, both what they were at the beginning of it, to how they grow, to how they grow apart.”

However, as with any good franchise, as Stu said in Scream, “these days, you gotta have a sequel!” or, in this case, a trilogy.

“We’re hoping that there is enough emotional construct to that, that would lead to a trilogy of it because, personally, I think there’s a natural trilogy.

“I’m not always looking to do multiple movies, but there’s a natural trilogy around their relationship. So, you’re going to see Cybertron in a way you’ve never seen it, that no one’s ever seen it before. Because we’re doing an animation, we’re allowed to really go all out. If you tried to make this live-action, it would probably be a billion-dollar movie or something.”

Now, while I love animation as a whole, I really would love if this were done in a way similar to the incredible opening of Bumblebee, with Cybertron and the battling forces on it looking like I imagined as a child sitting in front of the TV in the 80s watching this new exciting show:

Di Bonaventura compares the concept of the first movie to being similar to the story of Krypton as it falls apart as Kal-El is sent hurtling to earth: “You’re going to see a lot of the origins of the society, and what broke it apart. The analogy for me is a bit like Krypton when you saw the planet falling apart, and all that. We’re not there for a short time, we’re there the entire time of the movie, we’re on Cybertron, but we are in the challenge that, if you know the lore, they begin to question the hierarchy of how their society has gotten stratified, and how the common man doesn’t have the voice, entirely, that they want to have.

“We’re following very true to the origin story of it, and so it’s really fun, too, because I’ve gotten to see some of it – it’s not fully executed by any stretch of the imagination, but hearing Optimus and Megatron not as who we know them as, which we see their maturation in this experience. So, in a sense, you’re hearing a different character because you’re hearing them before they have matured.”

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Interestingly, he says that the movie will not feature a Prime or Megatron that we know but rather it’ll focus on these two young ‘men’ who will someday become the warring champions and leaders we come to know:  “It’s not a coming-of-age story. I don’t think you’d believe that, in a way, but I would say they’re young men who are finding their path. Like I said, it’s more than a tease, that’s what the story is, and that’s the experience you’re going to go through. And how they question society, just like all of us, too, could question our society. We’re maybe not as strong as Megatron and Optimus, so maybe we wouldn’t make the same choices, but I think it’s really going to be an eye-opener for the fans. For the non-fans, you’re going to get to meet the characters in their early formation.”

And, should it get more entries, then there’s big plans for that too: “I would say this, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about two and three because it’s always hard to do one well. But there is a natural trilogy coming out of this friendship where you can see the divisions and the possible attractions to each other, and why that should play out over three movies, is very natural. So we have a good sense in the broadest terms, but in the broadest terms, we know what the second movie would be about and the third movie would be about through the eyes of what this relationship’s going through. So the exact plotting, we haven’t worked on that, but how that relationship evolves, devolves, evolves, devolves, all that stuff, that’s what’s going to drive it if we get lucky, if the first one’s a success.”

I’m excited to see the first big screen animated Transformers movie since Unicron arrived in 1986’s TRansformers: The Movie.

What about you?

The untitled animated Transformers film is set to release in theaters on July 19, 2024.

Source: Collider

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….