As it sits, the hype around the Transformers franchise has increased dramatically since the trailer drop for Transformers: The Last Knight. After the trailer debuted, fans were excited to see what Optimus Prime and Bumblebee have in store for this new adventure where the two Autobots appear to be at odds with one another.
While we eagerly await the premiere of #TransformersTheLastKnight to find out why Optimus and Bumblebee are fighting, more details related to another installment in the #Transformers franchise have been revealed.
'Bumblebee' Spin-Off Is Next, What Will Come After?
According to Michael Bay, another Transformers movie is in development. Bay mentioned that the next Transformers movie would be a Bumblebee spin-off, marking the first movie to be developed outside of the mainstream story. The #Bumblebee movie is reportedly a prequel to 2007's Transformers that'll see more of Bumblebee's origins come to light.
Apart from the Bumblebee spin-off, news of Paramount Pictures delving into unexplored territories with the Transformers franchise might be an indication of more spin-offs to come. The studio recently confirmed that more movies are in the works, so it seems like the right time to develop more stories that but don't revolve around the same generic characters who've been featured in the past four or five movies. That said, a perfect story to be adapted into a new cinematic feature could be the Beast Wars series.
The #BeastWars storyline may not sound all that familiar to a lot of fans of the Transformers, but anyone who grew up in the '90s watching the different animated series of the decade knows that Beast Wars was arguably one of the best for a few different reasons.
First off, Beast Wars featured a new generation of Autobots unlike any seen before. When the Autobots (or the Maximals as they're known on the series) crash their ship on Earth, they arrive during the Pliocene Epoch, an era where dinosaurs roamed free. In this era, the Transformers take on the forms of nearby animals and dinosaurs.
The Autobot team is lead by Optimus Primal, a descendant of Optimus Prime in the form of a gorilla. His team consisted of:
- Cheetor, Optimus' second in command who transformed into a Cheetah.
- Rhinox, a support type who ran communications and repairs similar to Ratchet.
- Rattrap, who appeared to be the Beast Wars equivalent of Sideswipe.
More Autobots were introduced in following seasons but let's take a look at which Decepticons were featured in Beast Wars.
The Decepticon team (or rather, the Predacons as they're known on Beast Wars) featured a different variety of characters than the ones usually introduced. The Predacons are lead by Megatron. but his Predacon cohorts were new characters introduced specifically for Beast Wars. The main line-up consisted of Inferno, Blackarachnia, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Terrorsaur and a few others who joined the team in future seasons.
The new variety of Transformers isn't the only reason why Beast Wars is a series worth adapting into a cinematic feature. Beast Wars also told a story unique to the Transformers franchise.
What Else Does 'Beast Wars' Have To Offer A Cinematic Feature?
While most Transformers series have centered around the modern era, Beast Wars takes a different approach and goes back in time to a time where conflicts between the Autobots and Decepticons were a bit more direct.
In an era where humans don't have a relevant presence, the series focused more on the Transformers themselves. Rather than wasting time on introducing new human characters and working around human civilization like so many other Transformers series did in the past, Beast Wars devoted its air time to thorough character development of its central cast: the Transformers.
In its three-season run, Beast Wars featured quite a bit of individual character development for each of its Transformers. During this run, there was at least one episode dedicated to a new character arc for both Autobots and Decepticons alike, making Beast Wars more about the Transformers than any previous series; sans Generation-1 Transformers.
For A Kids' TV Series, 'Beast Wars' Depicted A Lot Of Character Development
Most of the time, any multi-episode arcs were dedicated to seeing the Autobots and Decepticons transform into new more technologically advanced forms. Each transformation was emphasized in one of these arcs, setting up a pivotal character to become stronger and more prominent in the Beast Wars universe. The series also depicted a few separate storylines unique to that universe, one of which involved Optimus Prime's spark being stored within Optimus Primal — the newest of the Primes — leading to a major pivot for the story.
After that transformation took place, Primal's initiative changed from surviving on Earth to getting off the planet and back home, leading to the final arc of the series. However, the series wouldn't end there. Beast Wars was then continued in another companion series called Beast Machines.
Unlike its predecessor, Beast Machines wasn't all that liked. Some may attribute its negative reviews to poor planning of the afternoon cartoon scheduling block. Having an earlier slot might have increased viewership but that debate was left in the air. The series still managed to run for two lengthy seasons, adding proof to the claim of Beast Wars and Beast Machines being stories worth adapting on to the big screen.
It may be too early to say whether Beast Wars could be adapted into a cinematic feature, but after looking at where the franchise is going with the Dinobots, it seems plausible for an animal-themed Transformers movie to be developed. The movies have teased an untold Transformers history of the past, so this could be what's next for the franchise.
Now seems like the perfect time to make Beast Wars into a spin-off movie. The animated series wasn't received as well as many would want, but the premise holds elements that are definitely worth seeing in a cinematic feature.
What do you think? Should Beast Wars be made into a full feature movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Transformers: The Last Knight opens in theaters on June 23rd, 2017.
Bumblebee is set for a release date for 2018.