With the Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts trailer out now, star Anthony Ramos and director Steven Caple Jr. gave S&A the inside scoop on the upcoming film.
The film is described as “a 90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots” that introduces “a whole new breed of Transformer – the Maximals – to the existing battle on earth between Autobots and Decepticons.” Ramos leads the film alongside Dominique Fishback.
Both Caple and Ramos have specific experience with the franchise.
The actor explained, “Growing up, I watched all of them. I also watched Beast Wars growing up. So I’ve grown up loving these characters. I bought the toys and used to play with the toys at home. To be a part of it was a blessing, because I was like, ‘Yo, I get to be a part of this thing that I already loved.” And to add the Beast Wars into the mix was just the icing on the cake. But then, there’s Brooklyn and there’s Dominique, there’s Steven and all these elements. I just feel blessed to be a part of a story that feels so close to home–literally, being set in Brooklyn ad Dominique being from Brooklyn too, but also, [it’s] this thing that I’ve been a fan of for so long.”
“I’m in this weird generational gap,” Caple added. “[I was] were born in the ’80s, so you know that I know a lot about the ’90s. But I also can appreciate the ’80s. So, when the cartoon came out in ’86, I knew I didn’t watch it til years later in the ’90s. But I was a fan of Transformers growing up and my family was. We had the toys, we had the whole nine. But then, I was also a teenager when Beast Wars came out. I remember being a slight outcast because it was new for its time. It started to step away from 2D cartoons to 3D cartoons. It was like you’re the only one who might Beast Wars, because everyone else was like, ‘This looks weird.’ But I remember the characters being so cool, and in some ways to me, were even grittier than the other characters in the other franchise. Now, to have this opportunity to blend those two together and see the origin stories of how the Maximals could meet the Autobots, and to add to what Anthony’s saying, our culture and us to it all, it just felt like the perfect challenge for me. I get to create and be a part of history by having these two first time in live action together in the film. And I’m like, ‘This is special.'”
Caple also ran down his objectives with the film, including the film being able to introduce the live-action version of Primal.
“To see Primal, this ape, on screen, who hasn’t been seen before– not to say our competitors, but the other apes we’ve seen on screen before were King Kong and Planet of the Apes,” he explained. “And now, it’s like, ‘All right. We get to design our own.’ So those are some cool design challenges and then characters that we haven’t seen before [and] all these other pieces that we just never tapped into that I feel like I bring to this franchise. Because that’s me, and that’s who I am. There’s a lot of heart and emotion that I draw from. If you’ve seen any of my work, I love to stay grounded, even though the scope could be here and we’re blowing up stuff and we’re in Peru and we’re in a jungle and Anthony’s jumping on and off the back of trucks and doing all this cool stuff [laughs]. It’s like, ‘Nah, at the end of the day, this is what we’re trying to reach, which is this emotion that people could watch us on screen and relate to us and truly be the heroes of this film.’ I feel like we’re in a unique position. And my motto going in was heroes come all in shapes, sizes, and creeds. You got these 30-foot robots here, but then, you have this, I’m going to say, six-foot Anthony [laughs] standing up against them and with them.”
There’s also the cultural aspect with the time period and setting.
He added, “We really haven’t been in a franchise and this is big for us in terms of what we’re bringing to it. And we go deep in the nineties era, man– just from wardrobe and clothes. Because it’s like an era of hip-hop, that was on the rise. So yeah, get a taste of all that. The music and the whole nine. I think Ant and Dom both brought a level of versatility to it. If you watch these films, get caught up in all the action and stuff, but they feel so real. Looking at their resume and what movies they’ve come from. And Dom– Judas and the Black Messiah…and in the next picture is Transformers…it’s like you’re really going to see how she can do both and do it all. It’s part of the reason why I really wanted to cast them. Because I’m like, as a fan of actors, who would I want to work with to bring it to a picture and say, ‘OK, we rocked out. You had fun, but yet, you felt something.'”
Watch the full interview below:
The film drops in theaters June 9.