Saturday, February 13, 2021

Transformers: Beast Alliance Possible Title of Live Action Film

It seems a possible title for Transformers 7 could be "Transformers: Beast Alliance" alluding to the use of the Transformers: Beast Wars characters for the film. The rumor first started earlier this week with now Production Weekly adding the film to their list of TV and movies in pre-production. The website is subscription based service used by producers and crew members to keep an eye on possible upcoming jobs they can seek. The film is still set to be directed by Steven Caple Jr (Creed II) and rumored to be a heist film.

Having said that, the title remain firmly in the "rumor" column. The About Me page for Production Weekly says "Our professional research staff continuously tracks and compiles up-to-date data on projects in various stages of development, both domestically and internationally." This could mean information is provided by the studios themselves, but it could also mean its provided by them mining rumors, trade websites and other sources to gather the information.

The use of Beast Wars characters could be a very smart, cost saving move by Paramount and Hasbro. One of the goals of the Bumblebee movie was to prove they can make a film at a cheaper cost, shooting for $100 million or less range once take into account taking advantage of tax incentives and other cost offsets (like merchandising and in movie advertising). One of the biggest costs of the Transformers film is not the alt mode, but the robot mode and the transformation sequence. They learned to "cheat" the tranformation in a way similiar to the cartoons, cutting that cost dramatically but the robot mode remains a high expense. The work around has been limiting robot mode and limiting robot mode to human interaction as that adds complexity to the scene. An example being having conversations take place to the alt mode.

Thanks to The Lion King, The Jungle Book and other recent films, the CGI animal character has known, repeatable and thus cheaper solution solutions to a robot mode and even better, no reason the animal mode cannot talk back allowing for plenty of interaction, character emotion and more. Even better, the robot mode will be more or less human size which would make filming scenes much easier, and thus cheaper, as do not have to account for the size of the mode in the same way. An example could be an action sequence where instead of showing a building being knocked down because a robot slammed into it, its just a wall that gets a dent. A car doesn't go flying from a robot kick, but slides away. A walk and talk doesn't have to be outside (because giant robot) but can now be on a soundstage on the regular sets already built for the film, thereby further cutting costs.

If they are using the Beast Wars characters, I put out the call now for them to use the orginial voice actors where possible. As the other live action Transformers films showed, the classic voices just work and are irreplacable. Use a named actor for the live action roles, save the voice roles for those that have already more than demonstrated they are capable of doing the work justice.

If the rumor turns out to be true, it will be interesting to see how Paramount and Hasbro introduce this new breed of Transformers. In the meantime, I do recommend checking out Transformers: Beast Wars. The first season is a bit of a slog, but season 2 gets better and season 3 is just a wall to wall home run.

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