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Transformers One: Everything You Need to Know

1/15/2024 • 2 min read

(Updated 04/18/2024)Transformers One | Cinemark

Ever since Michael Bay definitively finished his run on the big-screen TRANSFORMERS movies, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro have explored some new and classic pathways for the series. The next step is to wind the timeline all the way back to the beginning.

The animated prequel TRANSFORMERS ONE is aimed more at kids than adults. It's a buddy comedy that takes place on Cybertron with a focus on the early interactions between Optimus Prime and Megatron. It features a new celebrity voice cast, led by Chris Hemsworth, Brian Tyree Henry, and Scarlett Johansson, and animation by a major effects house. Here's everything you need to know about TRANSFORMERS ONE.

What Is the Transformers One Release Date?

Paramount Pictures will release TRANSFORMERS ONE on September 20, 2024.

Watch the First Trailer for Transformers One

This first TRANSFORMERS ONE trailer sets up aspects of life on Cybertron that a lot of casual fans have probably never seen before, from the drudge work performed by some of the planet's residents to the fact that not all Transformers can actually transform.

This lets us see Optimus Prime and Megatron when they were both just worker bots with dreams of more exciting lives. Based on what we know, their dreams come true, if not exactly in the ways they expected. Be careful what you wish for…

What's the Plot of Transformers One?

We'll go directly to the words of long-time Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who talked about the movie in April 2023.

"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. 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."

Who Are the New Transformers Movie Voice Actors?

The TRANSFORMERS ONE voice actors are surprising both for their level of celebrity status and for the shift the cast heralds for multiple characters.

Chris Hemsworth stars as Orion Pax, who becomes Optimus Prime. Brian Tyree Henry voices Megatron, Scarlett Johansson provides the voice of Elita-One, Keegan-Michael Key is Bumblebee, and Jon Hamm voices Sentinel Prime. Finally, Laurence Fishburne voices Alpha Trion. There will likely be many more casting reveals once the movie's first trailer launches.

This is a big change, because the live-action TRANSFORMERS movies have regularly featured voice actors who have long been a part of the property's history — particularly Peter Cullen, who has been the voice of Optimus Prime since the character debuted in animated television in 1981, and Frank Welker, who has often voiced Megatron and played multiple roles in the live-action TRANSFORMERS movies.

The Transformers One Animation Is By ILM

Most major animated theatrical features are spearheaded by one of a few studio animation units. TRANSFORMERS ONE comes from a group that has made only one full animated film, but which has long been one of the most dominant companies in movie production. We're talking about Industrial Light and Magic, the effects company formed by George Lucas during production on the original STAR WARS.

The one other movie fully animated by ILM is RANGO, released in 2011. That movie is amazing to look at, and visually is still ahead of its time. Production of RANGO also used a version of motion capture — they called it "emotion capture" — in which the voice cast was filmed and used as reference for the animation. We don't know if TRANSFORMERS ONE is using the same method, but it could be part of the reason for choices made in casting.

Animation also gives the filmmakers a chance to do things the live-action movies couldn't achieve for budgetary reasons. In the same interview quoted above, Lorenzo di Bonaventura said, "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."


TRANSFORMERS ONE opens on September 20.


All images courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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