Released in 2018, Transformers spin-off Bumblebee was not only an enjoyable blockbuster but a welcome change of pace for the Transformers series. After the aggressive blitzkrieg of five Michael Bay movies, which were conspicuously lacking in joy or innocence, Bumblebee took everything back to the 80s – both literally and spiritually.
The end result restored the endearing qualities of the titular Autobot and channelled the whimsical spirit of genre masters including Steven Spielberg. Full credit to director Travis Knight for that. When it comes to next year's sequel, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Knight has jumped ship to be replaced by Creed II helmer Steven Caple Jr.
However, judging from the enjoyably retro character designs in the Rise of the Beasts trailer, Caple Jr. isn't about to abandon the nostalgic aesthetic that won people over with Bumblebee. With Peter Cullen back on board as the voice of Optimus Prime, new members of the live-action human cast include In the Heights' Anthony Ramos and Judas and the Black Messiah's Dominique Fishback.
Franchise newcomers in the vocal camp include SNL favourite Pete Davidson, here voicing the irreverent Autobot named Mirage. And the Autobots aren't the only Transformer faction on display in the movie as the story pits the group against the Maximals, the Predacons and the Terrocons. Here's the first poster.
It's a lot to keep up with so fingers crossed that Caple Jr. can find his way through the onslaught. The explosion-heavy trailer promises all the action one would expect, plus the now-signature scenes of a human bonding with the car-they-didn't-know-was-a-robot.
Watch the new trailer below and prepare to watch Transformers: Rise of the Beasts activate in June 2023.