‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Team on Bringing the Iconic Characters to Life in a New Way: “It’s a Dream Come True”

‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Team on Bringing the Iconic Characters to Life in a New Way: “It’s a Dream Come True”
Jun 2023

Stars Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Cristo Fernandez and Liza Koshy celebrated their upcoming film.

The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts red carpet in New York City was filled with fans-turned-stars, who grew up watching the movies and playing with the toys, and now found themselves celebrating their parts in bringing these iconic characters to life.

"It's a dream come true," Cristo Fernandez told The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere on Monday. "I still cannot believe it. I'm asking people to pinch me. I used to play with the toys, and now I'm one of them."

The actor voices Wheeljack, the first Latin Autobot in Transformers history. "I just hope this opens more doors for more Latino talent out there," the Ted Lasso star added.

Related Stories

&'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts&' Review: Seventh Installment Is Comfort Food for Fans

&'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts&' Tracking for $68M Box Office Opening

Liza Koshy, who voices the Autobot Arcee, echoed Fernandez's statement, explaining that she was so excited to be a part of such a major piece of pop culture history and joking that everyone had all sorts of awakenings to Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in the 2007 live-action film.

"She's standing up for the femme Autobots," Koshy told THR about Arcee. "She is representing the women, and she is so strong in the sense that she doesn't pad anything with pleasantries. She's assertive. She's a boss. You call her a bitch, and you put bad in front of it. She stands in her power. And I'm so honored to play her."

The actress pointed out that having a character like hers is so important because it shows women that they don't need to fluff things up. They can be polite and assertive. They can call the shots and ask for what they deserve.

Dominique Fishback, who co-stars in the film with Anthony Ramos, shared that she felt drawn to her character Elena because she was smart, had an incredible arc and is proudly from Brooklyn, New York, like she is.

"It was nice to relax into a character and really lean into the accent," she told THR, before adding that she enjoyed working alongside Ramos. "We wanted to do something really epic together, really Brooklyn, and we never imagined that there would be this."

Tongayi Chirisa, who voices Cheetor, said he grew up watching Transformers and often drew Optimus Prime, declaring himself a "fanboy."

"The beauty about this genre of filmmaking is that you're like a child in a candy store," Chirisa told THR. "So, you get to allow your imagination to really create the scene for you. And, obviously, with the guidance of the director, you find the magic."

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is considered a direct sequel to 2018's Bumblebee and a prequel to the first Transformers live-action film series that starred LaBeouf and Fox. It follows Optimus Prime and the Autobots on their biggest challenge yet, when a new threat capable of destroying the entire planet emerges. Together with the Maximals, they must save the world.

Producers Tom DeSanto and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who have been with the franchise since the 2007 film, returned for Rise of the Beasts and stressed the importance of giving the audiences a piece of good content that also respects the titles that came before it.

"I think you realize, with all the Transformers, how deeply held the love is for the characters," di Bonaventura told THR. "And so, we really want to do right by the audience's memory of what they are."

"The world needs heroes now," DeSanto said, adding that movies can help break down walls and build up bridges for people all around the world, from Beijing to Barcelona to Boston. "Art is the best weapon good has on the planet, and I'm glad that we're sharing this world with the planet."

Steven Caple Jr. chose to direct the film because he was a fan of the franchise but also because it was a huge opportunity for him to make an imprint on a franchise and have it reflect who he is.

"Everything from the characters, the plot, the emotional parts, the laughter, it's the tone that I like to play in, and to be able to do that on such a big platform, I had to take it," Caple Jr. told THR. "You have a little bit of everything [in Rise of the Beasts]: heart, humor, be at the edge of your seat, a little bit of scares."

But the most important thing about the film, in his opinion, is the Autobot's slogan of "'Til All Are One."

"I hope you feel that level of unity when walking out of the theater," he explained. "I made this movie during 2020, so that's how I wanted people to feel afterwards. It'd feel special to me if we all felt together, like a family."