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More John Cena Comments on Bumblebee: The Movie

Transformers News: More John Cena Comments on Bumblebee: The Movie
Date: Friday, March 30th 2018 3:20am CDT
Categories: Movie Related News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): EW

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Via a new piece on Entertainment Weekly, we have another brief comment from John Cena, starring as agent Burns in the next Transformers live-action movie, aka the first and probably last spin-off of the Paramount universe so far: Bumblebee!

The interview is about Cena's plans and wishes for future roles, but he directed the discussion onto Bumblebee instead, repeating his previous positive points about director Travis Knight, and the nature of the story. Check them out below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!

After a string of comedic roles, the actor is back in the action-movie fold with Bumblebee, the Transformers spin-off set 20 years before the events of the first film.

“It’s going to be a wonderful piece of this franchise that I think people are going to enjoy,” promises Cena. “I was very intrigued being able to meet the team around the movie. [Director] Travis [Knight] is such a passionate man. The role they were talking to me about doing was very intriguing to me because it’s a road I’ve never been down before, but a road I felt like I could accomplish. And then put that together with the context of the movie, the way that the consumer will now view Bumblebee, all of that stuff was very interesting to me. And then they were stupid enough to say yes.”

Bumblebee, which also stars Hailee Steinfeld, races into theaters on Dec. 21.


Transformers News: More John Cena Comments on Bumblebee: The Movie

John Cena Talks about Transformers: Bumblebee, Says Film Will Reinvigorate the Movieverse

Transformers News: John Cena Talks about Transformers: Bumblebee, Says Film Will Reinvigorate the Movieverse
Date: Saturday, March 24th 2018 5:28pm CDT
Categories: Movie Related News, Interviews
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal | Credit(s): Metro

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Metro recently had the chance to sit down with wrestler John Cena and talk to him about his upcoming comedy "Blockers", and while they were at it, they asked him a few questions about his role in the upcoming Transformers: Bumblebee film. While Cena was careful not to drop any spoilers or any new information regarding the movie itself, he did comment on how he feels the Bumblebee film will help reinvigorate the movieverse.

Cena has been heavily rumored to be acting as Agent Burns of Sector 7, though that is still yet to be confirmed. He also makes note, inadvertently, that he and Bumblebee will come to face to face in the film, as he talks about interacting with a tennis ball on a 13 foot tall stick, which is what actors use to focus on when a character will be added in using CGI later.

Check out some quotes from the interview below, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

I think Travis Knight did a fantastic job of reintroducing the look, the feel, the storytelling of this franchise. I think people who enjoy what ‘Transformers’ was will enjoy the movie.

.....

Here we are talking about ‘Blockers’ a comedy with a lot of improvisation. It is very difficult to improvise with a 13 foot stick with a tennis ball attached to it. So it is a different movie-making process, but one I was extremely interested in.”


Transformers News: John Cena Talks about Transformers: Bumblebee, Says Film Will Reinvigorate the Movieverse

Pacific Rim's Steven DeKnight Loves the Story of the Bumblebee Movie, Which Might be Screened at Wondercon Friday

Transformers News: Pacific Rim's Steven DeKnight Loves the Story of the Bumblebee Movie, Which Might be Screened at Wondercon Friday
Date: Tuesday, March 20th 2018 10:37pm CDT
Categories: Movie Related News, Rumors, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Bronzewolf | Credit(s): Uproxx, Paramount, Jeremy Conrad

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It's been a little while since we've heard any major news about the upcoming Bumblebee stand alone film, but we do have a couple stories to bring you today. First, we have one of the first outside opinions on the main plot of Bumblebee, from screenwriter Steven DeKnight. Coming as a snippet of an interview from entertainment website Uproxx for his upcoming film Pacific Rim: Uprising, he shares that the story they used for the Transformers spin off was his favorite to come out of the Transformers screenwriting room that was arranged last year by Michael Bay and Paramount. Check out the Transformers-related section of the interview below.

Our second Bumblebee story is a bit of a rumor in conjunction with a recent announcement from Paramount themselves. It's been said recently (notably by reviewer and journalist Manabyte (Or Jeremy Conrad) that Paramount is planning to do an early screening of the Bumblebee movie sometime very soon, and that info collides with the announcement that this year's Wondercon Anaheim will be the backdrop to the first screening of a secret Paramount film. There are several Paramount movies coming out this year, and nothing in particular points to the Bumblebee movie being the secret screening, but there is a chance. Either way, we'll find out this Friday!

Uproxx: You were part of the Transformers writers’ room. I’m so curious: What’s a Transformers writing room like?

Steven DeKnight: It was a blast.

Uproxx: I imagine.

Steven DeKnight: It was a room full of incredibly talented, interesting, really wonderful people. I’ve got to say, my time spent in there was just, more than anything, was just so much fun. Everyone was so much fun and interesting. And we actually wrote, I think it was, I want to say 12 different movies. Every one of us took a different idea and developed it into like a full 30-page outline, so there were like 12 movies. And also, in complete honesty, my absolute favorite movie of the bunch was the Bumblebee movie that they’re making right now.

Uproxx: I’ve heard good things about it.

Steven DeKnight: The idea was fantastic.

Free Comic Book Day Interview with Alex Milne and John Barber!

Transformers News: Free Comic Book Day Interview with Alex Milne and John Barber!
Date: Saturday, March 17th 2018 7:28pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: WreckerJack | Credit(s): Freecomicbookday.com

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Freecomicbookday.com held an interview with Alex Milne and John Barber about the upcoming Unicron comic and their take on comics in general. Many of our readers will recognize Alex Milne's artwork in More Than Meets The Eye, Lost Light and many other comics. John Barber has worked as a writer for numerous Transformers comics, including Optimus Prime and Rom vs. Transformers. It is worth the read to hear their insight about comics and get to know the people who put so much work into creating the stories we have come to enjoy. You can read the whole interview here.

Free Comic Book Day won't be until May 5th, 2018 (details here) Until then we will keep our eyes open for updates! Make sure to mark your calendar and locate your local comic shop so you don't miss out!

Transformers News: Free Comic Book Day Interview with Alex Milne and John Barber!

Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview
Date: Tuesday, February 27th 2018 3:39am CST
Categories: Toy News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Loopaza

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Courtesy as has now become customary of Loopaza Mega Store on Facebook, we have the full scans of the latest issue of Japanese hobby magazine Figure King #241, featuring a lengthy, 24-page article on the evolution of Autobot / Cybertron leader Optimus Prime - from which we also got the Masterpiece 3.0 rumoured teaser covered here - and an interview with the Takara Tomy design team.

Hi-Res Scan Figure King No. 241 Transformers

This month's Figure King's cover a whole story Convoy history.

From the very beginning of 1st G1 Convoy/Optimus Prime to the Power of The Primes series.

Also there's line up of Japanese Studio Series and the interview regarding the new Convoy Project. Will it be the MP Convoy 3.0?

Let's see.


The full interview has been translated by a team of fans over on fellow fansite TFW2005, and we've mirrored highlights from the text below. We copiously thank Deruji, Sam. and Timesynch for their invaluable work - you can read it as you run through the images of Optimus Prime / Convoy figures through the years, including the likes of Binaltech, Beast Era, Unicron Trilogy, movie verse and more (maybe even comparing to our own 247 galleries of him!), and then let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview

Transformers News: Scans of Figure King #241 Optimus Prime / Convoy Feature with Interview


Greeting next years 35th anniversary by taking a look at the various Convoys from Transformers’ history.
For the planned conclusion at the end of the special, we will hear from the founder, Takara Tomy, according to volunteers from the Transformers Team Development Staff.

Kunihiro Takashi: Joined the company in 1984. He is the only senior member that was involved in the product development since the series’ early days.

Hasui Shōgo: Joined the company in 1999. He is mainly responsible for projects with Hasbro. During the start of the movies he proposed concepts.

Kobayashi Hironori: Joined the company in 1999. He joined the series from “Car Robots” onwards. He has been involved in Masterpiece and Binaltech.

Memories of Convoy.

–First everyone, let’s hear about your impression from the time you came in contact with the first Convoy.
Kunihiro: I was a student at that time. He wasn’t a “Transformer” yet, just Battle Convoy from “Diaclone”. I looked at him feeling: “This looks like such a good product~”. But then he went to America and the name changed to “Transformers”. Then afterwards he returned to Japan. In Japan he was also sold as a “Transformer”, which was surprising.

Hasui: That was also my first impression of “Diaclone”. Because Battle Convoy appeared in that way as a “Transformer”, it was at first something that was a little hard to accept. Although he was a favourite character from “Diaclone”…(laugh). Actually, my attention turned towards “Transformers” when there were new products that weren’t from the “Diaclone”-era… Such as Scramble [City] combiners from that point on with those kind of new products. I think what I understood about Convoy at that time was, “Didn’t he used to be Battle Convoy?”

Kobayashi: I was also a child that grew up with “Diaclone” and “Microman”. Because of that, when I also suddenly saw Convoy, who had returned as a “Transformer”, my first impression was, “Heh, don’t I know this guy?” (laugh).

Kunihiro: Around what time was that?

Kobayashi: Around the upper grades of elementary school. It was the time when I was slowly growing too old for toys… but, “Transformers” had a story and setting that were totally cool. Therefore, because of that reunion, my feelings turned back to the world of toys. I remember getting the impression that “Diaclone” and “Microman” had returned customised for us.

Hasui: That’s right. Convoy, for being the main character or chosen as the key character, had amazing conviction. He felt sufficiently able to stand up to being the presence that gathers the car robots together. The product’s gimmick and design matched this as well.

[...]

Let’s Make The Ultimate Convoy.

–When the first Masterpiece was released, it made an impact.
Kobayashi: Because it’s “Commander Convoy”, the symbol of the Transformers, the idea that we wanted to make a monumental item was born. It was a challenge to attempt to make something that completely fixated on a transformation mechanism, because the Masterpiece was an independent project without restrictions, and a chance to use a design that followed the anime more closely.

Hasui: Wanting to release another Convoy with MP-10 was a plan that started through chance, made by the release of Rodimus Convoy. A story came up that when Rodimus Convoy was lined up with MP-1 that there was an uneasy feeling due to the size.

Kobayashi: From the start, the Masterpiece itself was a planned project that was to end after one figure. Afterwards, when I realised that it wouldn’t be continued, MP-1 was a little on the large side. It had the image of a 12 inch figure.

Hasui: If we were to make it new anyway, not just Rodimus, but also the following car robots needed to be thought about while being developed. That is why after that item all are unified to a sense of scale. The appeal of Transformers, I think, is that when you line up Convoy and his subordinates together, they look better.

Kunihiro: Anyway, it was the trend to try and give them the responsibility, because the two that joined the company said they liked Transformers.

–In that regard, does the newest “Power of the Primes” version Optimus have the impression of following MP-10’s design?
Kunihiro: In the preceding year we had Power Master, and because this was to be another leader class Convoy it was necessary to use a completely different approach. That’s why, although we did not have the concept of Orion Pax combining back then, we thought about the challenge of “Can an ‘Ultimate Convoy’ be made?” Therefore, after thinking whether MP-10 was the most Convoy-like Convoy, we realised he was. With the successful appropriation of the digital data, the head with MP-10 serving as the base, was refined. Because the transformation is different we were able to balance the windows of the chest more skilfully than the MP. We had the strong realisation that… it didn’t seem very Power Master-y; on the contrary, didn’t it seem to settle into a shape that looked more like a stoic Convoy?

Toy Fair 2018 - Hasbro Transformers Brand Interview: IDW, Unicron, G1, Bumblebee, More #HasbroToyFair #NYTF

Transformers News: Toy Fair 2018 - Hasbro Transformers Brand Interview: IDW, Unicron, G1, Bumblebee, More #HasbroToyFair #NYTF
Date: Sunday, February 18th 2018 5:26am CST
Categories: Movie Related News, Toy News, Event News, Company News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al

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A final story from the main Hasbro Transformers day over at the Times Center in New York City, where Toy Fair 2018 is still taking place, is the group interview with the Transformers brand team - including infamous names like John Warden and Ben Montano - which our Twincaster podcaster megatronus was present for and recorded in full!

The team took questions from a varied assortment of podcasters, fansites, media sites, many of whom we've also collaborated before, on topics such as Masterpiece toys, the relationship with IDW comics, exclusives, the aesthetic of Cyberverse versus what we might see in War for Cybertron, the possibility of Unicron in a crowdfunded effort, the Bumblebee movie and its toyline, and more. We've highlighted below the questions and responses, including the more trivial and brief, for your perusal - take a read, join the discussion, and let us know what you think!

More villains in MPM line? (MPM-1 Starscream already present, but..)

Would love to do that, more MP figures to talk about later in the year, but we do want to balance out the factions.


Difference between MPM and Studio Series, in terms of character selection in particular?

Global accessibility with Studio Series so as many as possible, MPM is more selective by its nature. Trying to catch a new generation of grown kids too. Attempt to create entirely new toys for this demographic, and have fun with the line later down the road.


Bumblebee movie shift affecting the line?

Not in release (April 2018), they were supposed to come out together but only some characters have been moved later to coincide with June release. Studio Series collection will host the movie line, but not intended as a catch-all (Thundercracker an exception). Robot modes are scale-accurate, fit a collector shelf, cautious about the numbering system, a narrative woven into it, including backgrounds and cut-outs.


Future of Generations?

Power of the Primes ends in 2018. War for Cybertron starting in January 2019, no reveal of the new fiction yet so plenty of speculation welcome.


Why another trilogy?

It helps and invites new fans into the franchise, casual fans and kids. Trilogy invites to speculate, not lead to an ecosystem – it’s a storytelling universe, as per Hasbro blueprint.


Comments on unification of Takara Tomy and Hasbro?

The relationship and cooperation has always been there, this just allows for bringing multiple fandom factions – allowing things like Movie Masterpiece and Takara Tomy Masterpiece lines to be accessible to everyone. Cooperation is key, and building on the passions of both teams, in a very genuine way.


Any plans to move away from stickers, or get better?

We hear the concern, but stickers will continue in Prime Wars. Next chapter will be approached with fan feedback in mind – though cannot reveal yet. War for Cybertron is a new take on things, moving a little further away from the callbacks and throwbacks in POTP too, though story can feel a little more familiar.


Masterpiece continuing after the MPM line?
Looking at more Decepticons.


How is Toys R Us situation affecting Hasbro Transformers?

Not much of a comment, though Studio Series Thundercracker is a TRU exclusive. We hope to continue partnership.


Fan-vote: is there an IDW influence, and what is the Hasbro-IDW relationship continuing?

Fans are voting on a pair, not on singles. Yes, the pairings are inspired by elements of IDW, but each can fill in blanks in the toyline in different ways, that those guys can fill them. Fans have a way of organically to play and work in the battleground story. There is intentional conversations, pairings have love/hate elements, and may jar with some.

We are wrapping up current IDW continuities this year, Unicron is coming to devour everybody. The intention is to continue after that, whatever comes next. Towards end of year we should know more, but we will collaborate on more stories.

Do pairings have a gimmick? Are they new molds?

No. War for Cybertron line may include some previous molds, but intention is to give good representation of the characters. Fans are just voting on the idea of which character will best fit a toy.

(TLK Hot Rod, TR Scourge and Highbrow are examples of Partial Tool – technical shorthand klaxon – good deal of model making involved, plans are thought out strategically, already working on War for Cybertron.)

How are changes with movie plans (alleged reboot of film franchise) affecting toyline?

We’re always part of the conversation as partners, but we’re focusing on Bumblebee right now. Lots of toy concepts, lots of Cyberverse, Studio Series, War for Cybertron – we’re just pausing on the movieverse, in no way distracting us.

Bumblebee film will hopefully show what we can do collectively.

Any bets with Star Wars team on who will do best?

Hoping on parents bringing kids to the movies, that’s all. Travis Knight did grow up with G1 like I did [John Warden], so we’re expecting a new fan experience.

Cyberverse: hard G1 inspiration reason rather than RID? Female Decepticon make its way in other aspects of the brand?

Definitely yes on the latter, Shadow Striker in the series. Aesthetic is aimed to engage all generations, for robot mode at least, a currently fragmented fandom interest (BW, G1, etc) – unification of brand, of lines, of generations of fans. Opening up a dialogue and viewership, which is definitely not a G1 story, it starts in current day but there is an element of comfort for parents and older fans.

A lot of families in fan community, it’s exciting to bring them to the brand and share with kids, nieces, nephews. That doesn’t detract from Generations, War for Cybertron appealing more to the older fans and collectors.

Authentics will continue, they’re not tied to any story or fiction – just classic characters for a casual shopper, grandma buying ‘an Optimus’ or you just want ‘a Megatron’.


Exclusives?

Only TRU Thundercracker announced for now, but we do have more lined up for the year.


Would fans want to see a crowdfunded HasLab Unicron? What kind of pricing? Point fans to HasLab, talk about it, read about it, podcast about it. Talk about what you want to see, we’re listening. #Unicron


New Interview with Hailey Steinfield regarding Bumblebee: The Movie Soundtrack

Transformers News: New Interview with Hailey Steinfield regarding Bumblebee: The Movie Soundtrack
Date: Wednesday, January 31st 2018 12:29pm CST
Categories: Movie Related News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Bronzewolf | Credit(s): Billboard

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We have an additional peek into the current state and direction of the upcoming Bumblebee The Movie, thanks to an interview from Billboard magazine! They stopped Hailey Steinfeld, the movie's star, on the red carpet of this year's Grammy's to ask her about her upcoming music and her upcoming Transformers project!

In addition to being an actress, she's a talented musician, with several chart-scaling hits, so obviously one of the questions asked was about if she had any intention to produce music for Bumblebee. She revealed she might be producing some and collaborating with...Bumblebee?!?!

Take a look at the full transcript of the interview below, speculate down in the Energon Pub Forums, and stay tuned to Seibertron.com for any further updates on Bee's budding music career!

INT: You're working on some new music you told, you told Billboard about some new music that you're working on and how it's going to take kind of a different direction this time around; what can we say about it?

H: Well you know it's funny, I'm, I'm in the process, I mean I've been, I've been working on music for a while, um, and it's funny cause obviously a movie can come up and take me sort of out of the game for two, three months. Um, and so I do feel like, as much as I could say I'm sort of in "album mode" or the "next EP" mode, I'm still experimenting. Uh, and I'm still really figuring out what that sound is and what direction we might call it. So um, I'm working on it.

INT: I like the, that's a good answer. Cause you've had lots of hits already, like over the past four years you keep having hit after hit. So whatever you're doing, it's working. Um, you're going to be an advisor on The Voice this season, um, you're going to be giving great sage advice to a lot of folks. What is a great piece of advice that you yourself have gotten, maybe from another musician in the business?

H: Well I am very lucky, I feel like I've, I've gotten quite a lot of great advice, um, from some amazing people and amazing artists. Uh, but I just think, really just never losing sight of, of who you are and what makes you happy. I think there obviously are a lot of people that are going to have a lot of opinions, um, about who you are, what you do, how you do certain things, how you look. Um, and it's important that regardless, whatever you end up doing is for you.

INT: One last question: You're in the new Bumblebee movie-

H: Yes!

INT: It's coming, I think at the end of this year.

H: Yeah.

INT: Are you going to be singing with the car? I'm just wondering.

H: *Laughs* Uh, there may be a little, uh, plot twist [joking tone] Bumblebee actually may be singing. Um, I do hope the, uh - the movie takes place in the 80's and there are some incredible 80's references in terms of music. So, I'm hoping that maybe uh, y'know, post-production-wise I can jump in on a, on a little something.

INT: 80's covers, perhaps?

H: 80's covers perhaps.

INT: Thank you so much Hailee, have a great night.

Interview with Magdalene Visaggio, Writer of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries

Transformers News: Interview with Magdalene Visaggio, Writer of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries
Date: Tuesday, January 16th 2018 3:32pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): WWAC, Brendan Cahill

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We have news of an interview with Magdalene Visaggio, the writer of the current crossover series from IDW Publishing and its Hasbroverse - Transformers vs Visionaries - looking at how the team was made to arrive to the current status quo, the process behind two very old franchises, the ways in which the characters are approached, and addressing the scenes that most Transformers fans and readers have had a hard time accepting: the death of Kup.

You can read some extracts below, and the whole piece directly on the website Women Write About
Comics
, and enjoy the lineart for Brendan Cahill's variant cover (and colours by Lauren Bennett) for issue #4 of the series, too!

Firstly, how long have you been a fan of Transformers? Was it always your dream to write a comic for them?

I’ve been a Transformers fan to varying degrees since I was very little; they’ve always been around, and G2 was airing when I was eight or nine years old. But Transformers was never a passion of mine, nor was writing it a lifelong dream; when I was pitched this book, IDW EIC David Hedgecock asked me if I wanted to write Visionaries; the Transformers came in later. What got me excited was the idea of reviving and reinventing a largely forgotten franchise; the Transformers were the object they’d be acting against, but the actors would be the Visionaries.

The Visionaries have been silent for 30 years, did you have any say in any changes made to any characters?

Fico and I got basically all the say. Reinventing the Visionaries was very much done internally between me and Fico, and we presented what we wanted to do to IDW and then to Hasbro, and got the sign-off. We looked seriously at the characters and their situation, and then had to think, well, how do we integrate this into the IDW Hasbroverse, which is very sci-fi heavy, and have it still feel organic? We played a lot with more overtly sci-fi angles—at one point, the Visionaries, which are aliens, I might add, were much more obviously so. We decided to move away from the high fantasy aesthetic and worked to develop one that might make sense for a society forcibly removed from its technological origins. We had a very free hand.

[..]

Like I said, I haven’t been up to date on Transformers. But I knew and loved Kup from the 1986 movie, and so when they told me he was going to die, I was just shocked. Utterly, utterly shocked that the responsibility for taking out friggin’ Kup was going to be landing in my hands. Kup has always been one of my favorites (Kup, Springer, Ultra Magnus, Arcee, and yes, even Hot Rod are my TF dream team), so I immediately understood this wasn’t going to be a small thing. So I never took this lightly.

That’s why I structured the first issue the way I did; Kup takes a lot of the spotlight, and I showed him as the one pushing for something better; the old seen-it-all got to play idealist at the end, and I loved being able to do that for him.


Transformers News: Interview with Magdalene Visaggio, Writer of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries

Transformers News: Interview with Magdalene Visaggio, Writer of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries

Peter Cullen Interviewed by Den of Geek

Transformers News: Peter Cullen Interviewed by Den of Geek
Date: Monday, January 8th 2018 1:40am CST
Categories: Cartoon News, People News, Digital Media News, Interviews
Posted by: WreckerJack | Credit(s): Denofgeek.com

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Views: 20,343

Recently Den of Geek did an interview with the one and only Peter Cullen. In the article he talks about his role as Optimus Prime and Ironhide throughout the franchise, including the most recent Titans Return animated series. He reflects on the moment when he got word that Optimus would be written out of the Transformers: The Movie (1986). He goes on to talk about how he portrays Optimus and Ironhide in the live action films by Michael Bay.

He later gives some advice in the article to those who aspire to be voice actors. It is worth the read for those who are thinking about being the voice of a character in a show. If you would like to check out Peter Cullen's latest work, Transformers Prime Wars: Titans Return is available on Go90.com.



I was a 1980s kid, and I remember seeing Transformers: The Movie and just being devastated by the death of Optimus Prime. How did you first find out about this plot point, and after Optimus died did you find yourself grieving for the character?

I was stunned when I first read about it. I was reading the script, getting ready to go into recording. I was with Frank Welker and I got to the page, and I just read it and when the dust settled in my brain, i said "wait a minute, this is it, I’m not coming back. Oh damn." Or whatever curse words were available at the time, I chose those that were appropriate.

It was disappointment for sure. As an actor you either learn to put up with rejections or disappointments or you’ll break, you'll succumb. I'm used to that. Most actors are used to that, getting hired for something that means a lot to them. You hope, you hope, you hope. Your hopes shouldn't be dashed because you didn’t get the part. But in my case I was a little disgruntled because there was no explanation, there was no intended meaning behind it, other than years later to find out they were just trying to create a new character to sell more toys. But at the time you interpret that as being “my character sucks, God I must have been terrible in this role.”

We didn’t get fan mail. I never received a letter of fan mail although I was told it did come. And we didn’t have the internet so there was no thermomenter to judge how popular or unpopular something was. So move on, go on to the next job.

Of course now you realize how beloved Optimus is. Jumping ahead a few years when you were first cast for the Michael Bay Transformers movie, was your approach to the film version of Optimus different than his cartoon counterpart?

I think the answer is a two-fold answer. The character traits were ultimately for me going to be the same, but how to enact them and make the change from a small television screen with painted pictures to a full-on, blown up 45-foot character who is talking to human beings in real-life form in a believable way, that was something that had to be contended with. And I might add that Michael Bay and the people in his department were very concerned whether or not Peter Cullen could act. In other words could he act in a real-life situation and the way they were going to conceive it and portray it?

I had to audition a total of three times, they weren’t quite convinced. I don’t blame them, because at the audition Michael asked me if I played any other characters and I said yes, I played Ironhide and Ironhide had a scene with Optimus Prime. There was a girl reading Ironhide not giving it any dimension. I assumed that Michael Bay was at least aware of some of these characters so I said “if you don’t mind I’d like to read that part, I did him two and half years on the television series." She said ok.

Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers

Transformers News: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers
Date: Wednesday, January 3rd 2018 1:41pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Syfy

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Not long after the release of the book (today) and the publication of the Seibertron.com review (read it here), SyFy also brings us an interview with the entire creative team involved in the barely tepid start to Transformers vs Visionaries mini-series crossover.

In the piece, which you can read in full here, editors Sarah Gaydos and David Mariotte join writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Fico Ossio in talking about their approach to the issue, the story in general, the influences on both Transformers and Visionaries from previous work, and where it might go from here. There are gigantic spoilers for the issue, of course, but we've avoided them in the snippets below.


Magdalene Visaggio: There's a ton of great concepts in the old Visionaries cartoon from a storytelling standpoint. The basic structure of the show is super compelling. But I knew that that kind of content wasn't going to fly in 2017. So I approached this much like Ron Moore approached Battlestar Galactica: what's the stuff here that matters, versus what's the stuff here's that's designed to sell toys? We only have five issues to work with, so everything needed to be streamlined; initially that meant paring down the cast and simplifying the magical system, which in the show involves multiple animal totems, with some of the players getting magical staves and others getting the power to control ancient vehicles. I basically stripped everything down to something that wouldn't demand copious explanation: everyone gets a staff that can summon holograms, nobody gets more than one totem, etc.

I also really can't stand it when villains exist for the sole purpose of being evil. So I needed to figure out what exactly separates the Darkling Lords from the Spectral Knights. You know, what is the story the Darklings are telling themselves where they're the good guys? So I landed on the idea that they're both factions of a single organization run by Merklynn – the Visionaries, natch – with different philosophies that went into schism. There's more there that's gonna come into play as the book unfolds.

Fico Ossio: We kept the original concept, the idea behind Visionaries and started from there. After we had the story, we worked on what this world and characters should look like and then matched that with the original designs/characters and IDW's Transformers. But overall we wanted to do a complete update from the original for the most part.

Sarah Gaydos: For me, the key was having a believable situation where both the Visionaries and our current IDW version of Transformers all would exist believably in one place, so it just didn't make sense to stick with a vintage look. Fico did a fantastic job of updating the character design and mechanics of the Visionaries. I couldn't be happier with it!

[...]

SPOILER obviously provided many more big moments in the comics for IDW, and you highlighted some of those moments at the end of the book. Fans will want to see [them] avenged, right?

Magdalene Visaggio: And [they're] not going to be the only one to die before all this is over. This is a high-stakes story that is going to have long-term consequences for the IDW G1 franchise.

Fico Ossio: OH YES! I'm looking forward to drawing that.

Sarah Gaydos: Hell yes, I want to see [them] avenged. This book has real stakes, real emotions at play. Mags is doing a fantastic job with balancing all these aspects of intrigue, betrayal, grief, and somehow packing in a ton of heart all at the same time. And Fico's art, with colors by David Garcia Cruz, captures the incredible visuals of New Prysmos, while still bringing the spirit of Transformers everyone knows and loves to life.

[...]

With magic playing such a big part, you chose some interesting characters to combat that in Wheeljack, a scientist, Breakdown and Ironhide, a typically traditional, protective and defensive voice. Talk about playing those personalities up against New Prysmos, Darkling Lords and Spectral Knights.

Magdalene Visaggio: Ha, yeah. I actually didn't get much of a say in the matter, which I think is really cool. So many other characters were occupied in other books and stories, so these were the face characters that were available – which is kind of exactly how it happens in-universe, too; you don't always get to pick your team. I credit David Mariotte for handing me a group of Cybertronian heroes who would be a great foil to the Visionaries I was reinventing.

David Mariotte: It's true, there are a lot of other Transformers doing a lot of other things right now, but we worked with my predecessor, Carlos Guzman, to figure out a core handful of characters that would be available and a good fit. And a lot of them fell into place naturally. Ironhide is a head of security on Cybertron and suddenly there's this whole city with unknown capabilities that he has to deal with. Wheeljack's a scientist who is suddenly up against a force that defies explanation. Breakdown, and I'll never stop harping on how well Mags writes him, has been a background character for a while now, but he finally gets his chance to step up and show Cybertron what he's made out of.


Transformers News: Interview with Creators of IDW Transformers vs Visionaries #1 - Spoilers

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