Director Steven Caple Jr. is tackling the next installment in the seasoned Transformers franchise with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and is drawing inspiration from beloved ’90s action films for peak thrills. The 7th film in the franchise will channel the energetic nostalgia of the ’90s and hopefully ignite as many throwbacks as it does explosions.
ComingSoon.net reported that director Steven Caple Jr. is setting Transformers: Rise of the Beasts in the ’90s. Caple stated that he loved how Bumblebee went back to 1987 and wondered what it would be like to go back to the next decade, specifically 1994. Caple Jr. explained that the year is “rich, its texture is also vibrant culturally. It has classic music and there’s a certain energy to the 90s that I’m looking forward to capture”. He continues, 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.”
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is a sequel to Travis Knight‘s 2018 spin-off film, Bumblebee. The film is based on the Transformers toy line and is primarily influenced by the Beast Wars storyline. The plot will center around Optimus Prime in 1994 with settings in Brooklyn, New York City, and some isolated parts of Peru such as the mysterious Machu Picchu and the cities of Cusco and San Martin. The incorporation of South American locations will heighten the global sense of discovery and adventure reminiscent of Indiana Jones.
When asked about ’90s blockbusters like Independence Day and Terminator 2: Judgment Day influencing the new film, Caple Jr. responded “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.”
Embracing ’90s Nostalgia
Cruel Summer, Captain Marvel, and Fear Street Part One: 1994 are three of the most recent examples of film and TV transitioning nostalgia on screen from the ’80s to the ’90s. With grunge, plaid, and badass action films, teen horror films, and even erotic thrillers, who can blame them? 1994 was a pretty wild year so it will be really cool to see how pop culture elements will play into the latest Transformers film. We had films like Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction, Disney’s The Lion King, and the historical drama Forrest Gump all gracing the big screen that year. Bright colors and geometric patterns donned the racks of shopping malls and music from TLC, Nirvana, Oasis, Blur, and Boyz II Men graced the airwaves.
I’m very excited about the comparisons to Independence Day and Terminator 2 because that translates as a lot of practical special effects around pyrotechnics and stunt drivers reminiscent of the ’90s. T2 is one of my all-time favorite films that recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. I’m curious if there will be a throwback to the liquid metal effect used by the T-1000. Moving Picture Company is set to provide the visual effects for the Beast Wars characters. MPC has worked on X-Men Days of Future Past, Prometheus, Blade Runner 2049, and several Harry Potter films. They even created digital humans for Terminator Genisys where the T-800 is in the form of a 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m cautiously optimistic but basically, any project grabs my attention when my beloved T2 is mentioned.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will be rolling into theaters on June 24, 2022.
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