Monday, March 18, 2019

Bumblebee 2 With More Bayhem, Optimus Prime; TF6 Still a Go

Weirdly enough the theatrical promotion of Bumblebee isn't quite done. The movie is finally about to premiere in Japan on March 22 which is why have not posted a final tally on its box office totals as good chance that country will add around $10-20 million to the total (currently worldwide is $459.5M). As a consequence it means that executive producer was doing a little double duty in interview both talking about the Bumblebee while also promoting his next film Pet Semetary. Since in his mind the movie's run in nearly complete, he instead focused on the future of the franchise and some lessons learned.

One lesson he learned is getting to know the Transformers is good, but movie audiences still want some additional "bayhem" in their scenes. Of course the primary reason for the lack of action (compared to Bay directed films) was the drop in budget as those scenes don't come cheap.
Several lessons have come out of this. One is that we have the freedom to tell almost any story. The other is that, how strongly the audience identified with the strength of character and emotion. I know the next Transformer, our attempt anyway, is to sort of do a fusion of Bumblebee and the Bay movies…a little more Bayhem. And a little bit more of the character falling in love within the emotional dynamic of the movie. One of the things I want to do—and I hope we pull it off—is, we did it with Bumblebee because he’s so cute and he’s so accessible, but he can’t talk. I think the more human we can make these characters, the more people are going to like them.”
Earlier in the year, di Bonaventura hinted that an Optimus Prime was being considered. Speaking with Japanese site The River (translated by Bleeding Cool), it seems the decision instead is to add more Prime to the Bumblebee sequel.
“I do not intend to do Optimus’ solo film. In the sequel to Bumblebee, I’m thinking of two characters, Optimus and Bumblebee. That way, Bumblebee can do something with Optimus. It would be nice if that would happen! That’s because buddy films don’t even do marvel films. So I think it would be very interesting. I used to do “Lethal Weapon” as well. So to speak, Danny Glover is Optimus. Bumblebee looks like “Oh, no no no no …”.
A writer has not even been hired so whatever he is thinking now could change further as Bumblebee 2 is likely at least two years away.

Lastly, the busy executive producer also spoke about Transformers 6 with Japanese site Cinema (translated by Dark Horizons) that the other script being worked is "the latest in the main family series following the events of Transformers: The Last Knight." So those hoping for Unicron can still have some hope but I am not holding my breath on that particular story beat being picked up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Transformers: Cyberverse Season 1 Playlist, Season 2 Trailer

With season 2 coming to the Cartoon Network soon, figured its a good time for those that missed out on Season 1 to catch-up. The first video is Hasbro's playlist for the season while the video is the trailer for season 2. Season 1 is 18 episodes, each around 11 minutes long. Overall despite being short episodes, the series was pretty good with most of the story focused on Windblade and Bumblebee suffering from amnesia as they attempt to find the rest of the Autobots before the Decepticons do.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hasbro Pulse Store Launches with (Sold-Out) Ghostbusters Transformer

Today with start of the New York Toy Fair, Hasbro started things with the launch of Hasbro Pulse which replaces the Hasbro Toy Store. The site does seem geared towards the collector as the selection is much smaller but filled with stuff that has this collector paying attention.

For Transformers fans they seemed to start things off with a impressive bang by the "Echotron" Ecto-1 in G1 style packaging for the Ghostbusters inspired Transformer to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of both franchises. Sadly it didn't last long as the pre-order is no longer available to purchase on the site (how do you sell out a pre-order for a not limited edition toy?). On the bright side the toy is also a GameStop exclusive so can pre-order it there for $49.99. The wait will be long as not coming out until the summer along with a 5-part IDW Transformers & Ghostbusters series that will introduce the character.

Besides that, you can pre-order the next two Masterpiece Edition figures of MP-45 Bumblebee 2.0 and MP-18+ Bluestreak (unclear if they getting Hasbro style MP packaging or going with Takara boxes) along with a wave of Transformers War for Cybertron Deluxe figures. They also have Nerf guns inspired by Fortnite, Deadpool Corps set, Professor X with Hover Chair and bit more.

Price wise, everything seems to be in the MSRP range but Hasbro is offering to wave the $50 fee for Hasbro Pulse Premium to the end of the year to anyone that makes a purchase between 2/15 to 2/23/2019. The membership will offer free shipping in the US, sales, and "other perks". I question its $50 value as will only be recouped via saving on shipping costs if you purchase from the site 5 or so times before the end of the year but since site is brand new it is hard to make a judgement call. Admittedly they are actual off to good start with some of the items they are selling. I planned on getting Bumblebee 2.0 anyway through another retailer so might as well pre-order it now so can get the free membership to give the site a year long try-out. Below is the press release of its launch.

Transformers: War for Cybertron Animated Series Heading to Netflix

For a while there was a rumor that Hasbro was working on an animated movie that would tell the origin of the Transformers war. Sounds like they decided to pivot to TV as they have teamed with Rooster Teeth to create an animated series for Netflix called Transformers: War for Cybertron. The series would debut sometime in 2020 on the streaming service. The name may sound familiar as was used for a video game from a few years ago.

The comics have already told the story that began as a protest movement more or less led by Orion Pax (Optimus Prime) and Megatron against a repressive government before Megatron's escalating tactics (like killing the entire government leadership) caused a permanent rift and eventually ignited the civil war that lasted millions of years. IDW Transformers comics were firing on all thrusters, worth reading the trades. I doubt the series will copy the comics line but wouldn't mind if they are inspired by it.
“In this Transformers origin story, we will explore the expansive universe of Cybertron in a way that audiences have never seen before – to the delight of both existing fans and those coming to the franchise for the first time. The Transformers brand is a global phenomenon and we are thrilled to partner with Hasbro, Rooster Teeth and Polygon to bring this exciting new series to our members around the world on Netflix.”

From Tom Warner, Senior VP for the Transformers franchise at Hasbro, “We’re thrilled to work with Rooster Teeth’s new premium studio division to bring an all-new Transformers fan-oriented series to Netflix. Transformers has a rich history of great storytelling and War for Cybertron is an exciting new chapter in the Transformers Universe.”

Friday, February 15, 2019

Bumblebee Home Video Details and Release Date

Paramount has revealed the release date of the Bumblebee on digital and home video along with special feature details. The digital version of the movie will hit iTunes, Amazon, and other digital platforms on March 19. Two weeks later the DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack will be released on April 2. Personally I tend to wait for the Blu-ray release as get the digital + disc for the same price as the digital only.

The special features include a look at John Cena's Agent Burns character and a motion comic on Sector 7. There will also be deleted scenes, outtakes, a look at designing the Transformers in their more G1 style, using "Bee Vision" to get a closer look at the Transformers from the film, and a five-part behind the scenes piece on making the movie. Below is the press release for the film with a few more details along with a trailer for the release.

Pre-orders are up on Amazon now - DVD | DVD + Blu-Ray + Digital | 4k Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital




Coming to Earth on Digital March 19

4K Ultra HD™ & Blu-ray™ Combo Packs Arrive April 2 with Exclusive, All-New
Print and Motion Comic!
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