|Beast Wars: Transformers|
|Directed by||Dan Trachtenberg|
Lorenzo di Bonaventura|
J. J. Abrams
Beast Wars: Transformers|
Ian James Corlett
|Editied by||Paul Hirsch|
Bad Robot Productions
Di Bonaventura Pictures
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
April 31, 2015 (Sydney Opera House)|
May 8, 2015 (United States)
|Running time||150 minutes|
|Box office||$785.8 million|
Beast Wars: Transformers is a 2015 American science fiction adventure film based on the Transformers: Beast Wars franchise by Hasbro. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, J. J. Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof and written by David Ayer and David McKenna, it is the eleventh film in the Hasbro Cinematic Universe.
The film follows the story of the Maximals, descendants of the Autobots, and the Predacons, descendants of the Decepticons, and their war on prehistoric Earth where Beast Wars Megatron, leader of the Predacons, plans to change the course of history and it's up to the Maximals, led by Optimus Primal, to stop them and preserve history.
The idea of a film adaptation of Beast Wars surfaced in 2009 after the release of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe. Paramount heisted at first, but grew to love the concept after watching the television series. Orci and Kurtzman, both fans of Transformers, and J. J. Abrams were approached to produce the film and Trachtenberg was approached to direct it. Several voice cast members of the original television series, most notably Garry Chalk and David Kaye as the voices of Optimus Primal and Beast Wars Megatron, reprised their roles respectively. Principal photography commenced on November 7, 2013 and ended on March 27, 2014. Industrial Light & Magic used digital ships for the film. Production for the film concluded by the end of 2014. The score was composed by Michael Giacchino, with assistance from Tyler Bates.
Beast Wars was heavily promoted in the months preceding its release; pre-release screenings for the film premiered in select cities around the world, including Austin, Texas, Sydney, Australia, and Calgary, Alberta. It was released in the United States and Canada on May 8, 2015, to critical acclaim; critics praised its soundtrack, as well as its storyline, visual effects, action sequences, voice perofrmances, direction, and Giacchino and Bates' score.
After travelling into the distant past via a transwarp drive, the Maximals battle the Predacons in outer space, but both ships crash land on a mysterious planet. They scan for beast forms to protect their robot forms from the planet's large amount of Energon. Enraged by the apparent failure to land on Earth, Dinobot challenges Megatron for leadership of the Predacons, but is blown away by Scorponok. After the first battle on the planet between the Maximals and Predacons, Dinobot reappears to challenge Optimus Primal for leadership of the Maximals. When the Predacons interfere, Dinobot agrees to serve under the Maximals, but the Predacons find an Energon-infested mountain. The two teams have a battle to get the Energon, but the Energon explodes after Dinobot saves Optimus from Megatron. Knowing that the Predacons are not gone for good, the Maximals prepare themselves for the expected long-term conflict for control of the planet's Energon, which Optimus declares to call the Beast Wars.
Several days following a series of events (An alien probe appeared, and Optimus was seemingly disintegrated for a while), Inferno finds a second Golden Disc, marked with alien runes. Megatron and Optimus supposedly agree to a truce, and Tarantulas is determined to get off Earth. Optimus, Rattrap, and Airazor discover an alien structure. Meanwhile, Blackarachnia discovers Tarantulas' escape plans and forces him to let her tag along.
The Vok unleash a monstrous weapon, an artificial moon, intending to destroy Earth and all Maximals and Predacons on it. Using a stasis pod equipped with transwarp cells, Optimus flies to the moon to destroy it, but Megatron deviously seals the pod shut, causing Optimus to be destroyed along with the moon.
- Garry Chalk as Optimus Primal, leader of the Maximals
- Scott McNeil as Rattrap, Dinobot, and Silverbolt
- as Rhinox
- Ian James Corlett as Cheetor
- as Tigatron,
- as Airazor
- David Sobolov as Depth Charge
- David Kaye as Megatron
- Scott McNeil as Waspinator
- as Scorponok
- as Tarantulas
- as Terrorsaur
- as Blackarachnia
- as Inferno
- as Quickstrike
- as Rampage
- Savenkoff as
- as Ravage
as the Maximal Computer and the Predacon Computer.
|"When they approached me for the role of director, I didn't know anything about Beast Wars or anything about Transformers. Well, not the way Michael Bay does. When I watched the series, I got inspired to do a film about robots changing into animals. It was a whole new experience for me."
—Dan Trachtenberg in a 2015 interview
A film adaptation of Beast Wars never came to Paramount Pictures' eyes until they first heard about it. Paramount CEO Brad Grey stated in an interview; "I never understood the concept of Beast Wars. Nether any of us at [Paramount]. We prefered to do the normal "Vehicle-formers" instead of the akward "Animal-formers"."
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura stated in a 2008 interview that a film adaptation of Beast Wars was not in plans, as he explained: “I’m probably not the one to be asking that question to because I don’t get Beast Wars, but you know, thankfully I’m not the only vote on it. I’ve never quite understood, they kind of feel like incompatible to me, you have animals, robots, we’re used to cars.”
Following the release of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe in 2009, Paramount Chairman Rob Moore watched the first six episodes of the original Beast Wars series. Moore started taking an immediate liking to the concept. The rest of the people at Paramount hestited with Beast wars at first, believing it to be out of the Transformers genre. However, the company later warmed up to Beast Wars later on.
On February 23, 2013, Trachtenberg accepted Paramount's offer to direct the film, after having initially been attached to it solely as a producer. He explained that he had decided to direct the film because, after reading the script, he realized that he "would be so agonizingly envious of whoever stepped in and directed the movie."
In 2011, following the release of Cowboys & Aliens, Moore asked writers Orci and Kurtzman for ideas on the new film, but they turned the offer to write the script. Instead, Orci and Kurtzman decide to produce the film with fellow collaborator J.J. Abrams.
Influenced by Star Trek, Trachtenberg chose to shoot the film in the anamorphic format on 35 mm film after discussions about whether the film should be shot in high-definition digital video. Cinematographer Robert Elswit and Trachtenberg agreed the choice gave the film a big-screen feel and the realistic, organic look they wanted for the film setting. Trachtenberg and Elswit used lens flares throughout filming to create an optimistic atmosphere and a feeling that activity was taking place off-camera, making the Transformers universe feel more real. "There's something about those flares, especially in a movie that potentially could be incredibly sterile and CG and overly controlled. There's just something incredibly unpredictable and gorgeous about them." Elswit would create more flares by shining a flashlight or pointing a mirror at the camera lens, or using two cameras simultaneously and therefore two lighting set-ups.
Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain were among several companies that created over 1,000 special effect shots. The visual effects supervisors were Roger Guyett, who collaborated with Abrams on Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek, and also served as second unit director, and Russell Earl. Trachtenberg avoided shooting only against bluescreen and greenscreen, because it "makes me insane", using them instead to extend the scale of sets and locations.
- Main article: Beast Wars (soundtrack)
Michael Giacchino composed the music for Beast Wars. He kept the original theme by Robert Buckley for the end credits, which Trachtenberg said symbolized the momentum of the crew coming together.
The characters in the original series were human-sized. However, Trachtenberg decied to have the characters the same size as the original Transformers characters because he felt it would make the film feel too small for the franchise. Like the first Transformers film, the filmmakers created the size of each robot with the size of their animal mode in mind, supporting the Transformer's rationale for their choice of disguise on Pre-historic Earth.