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Friday, June 21, 2024

Transformers One Will Have Younger, Messier Robots in Disguise

Megatron (D-16) and Optimus Prime in Transformers One.

Image: Paramount

Earlier in the week, we got our first look at Transformers One, and it probably didn’t look like what you were imagining. The animated movie, which is meant to serve as an origin story for Optimus Prime (Chris Hemsworth) and Megatron (Brian Tyree Henry)—here respectively known as Orion Pax and D-16—is sillier than expected, and predates the Autobot/Decepticon war that serves as the franchise’s foundation. If you’re on the fence after that trailer, director Josh Cooley’s here to assuage your concerns, and also give some more insight into how the movie will serve its characters.

Talking to IGN, Cooley explained that the trailer’s comedy focus was in part to help audiences “fall in love with [Orion and D-16] as brothers and friends” before things hit the fan. “They’re from the same generation and have a very tight relationship,” he continued, “[and] something happens on their planet that they both have two different reactions to. By the end of this film, there’s some serious stakes.”

In D-16’s case, those stakes involve treating him like he’s not automatically booked to be a villain. Cooley described the future Megatron as someone who should be “very real and fully rounded. D-16 takes [things] to a place, just a lot of anger, but you understand why.” With Henry’s insight, the team ensured that audiences would relate to D-16 and get where he was coming from before an undescribed event changes his outlook on Cybertron in ways that lead to a “natural split” with Orion. Cooley hopes that before the credits roll, fans and newcomers will view D-16 and Orion’s conflict as a very real and tragic split between old friends.

As for Orion, he’s described by Cooley as someone who’s driven, but doesn’t always put the drive to its best use. He’ll have to discover how to earn the name Optimus Prime, and what being Optimus Prime really even means. “Like anybody else, there is a level of maturity that we don’t have unless we’ve gone through something. […] We’re really taking these characters to heart and treating them with the respect that they deserve and knowing where they’re going to end up. It’s just seeing how they get there.”

Transformers One comes to theaters on September 20.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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