Hellboy star Ron Perlman has reportedly been cast as Optimus Primal, leader of the Maximals, in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the seventh film in the Transformers franchise. The report comes from Collider. Perlman is returning to the character after voicing Optimus Primal in the Transformers: Power of the Primes web series. Optimus primal is described as a "brave and honorable warrior" who leads the Maximals and captains the starship Axalon. Optimus Primal once saved Optimus Prime's life and battled Megatron during the Beast Wars era. Optimus Primal's animal-based alt-form is a Gorilla. This will be the character's first appearance in the live-action Transformers universe.
Paramount announced the title of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts last week. They also confirmed that the film would feature Autobots, Decepticons, Maximals, Terrorcons, and Predacons, expanding the number of factions in the franchise and thus increasing the storytelling possibilities.
Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback lead the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts cast. Steven Caple Jr. is directing the film from a script by Darnell Metayer and Josh Peters. Before the big reveal, Ramos commented on the next Transformers movie being a sea change for the franchise.
"It was Shia LaBeouf, Mark Wahlberg and Hallie Steinfeld and [now] me. It's very different. Dominique Fishback — it's very different. Transformers has transformed!" he said. "Steven Caple Jr. is a visionary, I cannot wait for people to see this man flex and really show everybody the fullness of his glory. We got some things cooking up for y'all, y'all don't even know."
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is set in 1994 and draws inspiration from the Beast Wars: Transformers animated series. That series was a sequel to the original Transformers cartoon and introduced the Maximals and Predacons.
"The difference between the sort of Predacons in our film, they are more reptilian in nature," Caple said during the press event. "So to speak, you've seen a few in the other Transformers films, they've been like here and there, but we never got a chance to really focus in on their logo. So to speak. Their insignia, I really identify them with, to Lorenzo's point, their tribe, if you will. And so we're really hitting that more. And then we get to see another side to them. Again, it's all about sort of like building a backstory to these characters.
"That's a little bit more than, 'Hey, let's take over the world. What is their personal agenda? What are the feelings behind it? And so we'll get the seed of that. You can't really make a movie about Beast Wars and not have the classic characters."
What do you think of Ron Perlman voicing Optimus Primal? Let us know in the comments. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts opens on June 24, 2022.
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