Transformers: Rise of the Beasts director Steven Caple Jr. has now offered some exciting insight into his approach to the franchise, revealing that his effort will take inspiration from 90s action classics, including the likes of Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Independence Day. Asked how Transformers: Rise of the Beasts would pay homage to these cinematic treasures, the filmmaker stated that his Transformers outing would work hard to capture the same “heavy metal” essence.
“Definitely. I think you’ll feel the sense of a journey and expedition in this film. This go-around that connects all of those to what you’re saying. Terminator 2 is classic. The heaviness of the metal, if you will, all that stuff plays into it. So I think when you’re looking at our film and looking at sort of where we’re taking it, [we] kind of want to bring that classic expedition, that classic journey through New York and where we go from there.”
Both Independence Day and Terminator 2, the latter of which recently celebrated its 30th birthday, are still held up as classics of the action sci-fi genre, and with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts cementing itself in the 1990s, Steven Caple Jr. has undeniably chosen the perfect jumping off point.
The director went on to declare himself a fan of the Transformers franchise, having been particularly enamoured by director Travis Knight’s 80s-set Bumblebee, and cannot wait to tell his 90s set story. “As a fan and watching all the Transformers films, and then stepping into Bumblebee, I love the way he went back into ’87,” said Caple Jr. “Again, it adds again to the nostalgia and something that people remember or connect to. So I was curious, when I met Lorenzo [di Bonaventura] and the team, I was like, where are we picking this thing up from? He was like 1994, and I was just like, that’s a great era. You know what I mean? It has a lot of texture. It’s rich, its texture is also vibrant culturally.”
The filmmaker though is aware of how the 90s has been portrayed in the past and plans to avoid the pitfalls of previous portrayals by bringing a grittiness to proceedings. “It has classic music and there’s a certain energy to the 90s that I’m looking forward to capture,” he continued. “Like we’ve seen it on screen very few times, sometimes little hokey, you play into it too much, but I think there’s a level of realness that I could bring to it. There’s a level of grit, but grit that I kinda naturally default to, that we can like really make pop, you know, in terms of our world and the Autobots stepping into the 90s and all the callbacks and fun we can sort of play with there in that era.”
Starring Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) and Dominique Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah), with a screenplay written by Army of the Dead‘s Joby Harold, Transformers: Rise of the Beastswill take place in 1994 and has been described as a spiritual successor to the 80s set Bumblebee. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is scheduled to hit theaters on June 24, 2022.