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Thread: Transformers Optimus Prime up next?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnertwin View Post
    Can't wait for the walking quote engine to get his own movie.
    Yeah, this is the challenging thing about taking what is an essentially flawless saviour/Messiah archetype and trying to make a character out of him. Not impossible though, look at what the MCU has done with Captain America. But I think that the main thing that has to happen - and this is important for all characters, but especially for the saviour archetype - is for them to earn their screen presence and audience investment.

    This was one big difference between say the Avengers vs Justice League on the big screen. The characters in The Avengers, especially in Infinity War with its bugger-off size cast, is that they earned their presence. ∞War doesn't bother providing exposition for its 20-odd cast members because over the course of the past decade, they've already earned the place. Contrast this with Justice League which gives us a bunch of new characters who haven't earnt their place -- now I saw new because even Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman were portrayed very differently from their previous incarnations, so they might as well have been new characters. And people whinge about Scarlet Witch changing her accent or Black Widow changing her hair colour in ∞War (despite the fact that it's not uncommon for people to shift accents or change hair colour!).

    Now I know that fans all want a movie entirely set on Cybertron without humans, but I do wonder if that would isolate the non-fan general movie going public. Look at what happened when DC tried doing this with Green Lantern where a good part of the movie happened off-world. Although Thor Ragnarok was set predominantly off-Midgard and it worked really well. I guess the secret is to create likable and relatable characters.

    But then again, Bumblebee has given us the most likable characters ever seen in a Transformers movie (even the Decepticons are likable in Bumblebee!) and yet it's tanking at the box office. Perhaps Michael Bay was right all along to cater for the lowest common denominator and just give people cheap thrills at the expense of an actual story with heart.

  2. #12
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    I wouldn't mind if they did an Orion Pax growing into Optimus type of movie, flaws and all. A bit of history, a bit of this and a bit of that.

    If I want to see a one man army decimate the opposition for 2 hours, I've got 4 Rambo movies waiting for me at home.

  3. #13
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    I can’t envisage an all-cgi Cybertron based movie ever being greenlighted by the bean counters at Paramount / Hasbro. Bumblebee has been lauded for its strong human-robot relationship story with the Transformers franchise acting as the vehicle for that story. I’d hate to say it but it would be a step backward for the next movie to be 2 hours of CGI fan-service.

  4. #14
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    I think there is a way to make an Optimus / Cybertron movie work placed as a sequel to the Bumblebee movie and a Prequel to the Bayverse movies (since Bumblebee ended up being a prequel and not a reboot). Tying in anything to the Bayverse movies is going to be hit and miss because their plots are a shambles but I think you can make something workable.

    My amateur thoughts on the way it should probably be approached is in the theme of Godfather 2. Showing two separate timelines concurrently where characters face similar situations in the past and present, the present being Earth, and the past on Cybertron.

    The only way you can show character progression with someone like Optimus is to show how he became Optimus. So I think the Cybertron scenes should be centered around the progression of Orion Pax turning into Optimus Prime and the fallout between him and Megatron and how the war began.

    Personally I really liked the way Transformers Prime portrayed the dynamic and backstory between Megatron and Optimus. How Cybertron had become a society riddled with inequality and ruled by an elite hierarchy, and how it was Megatron from the Gladiator pits who led the fight and championed a political revolution to bring in a a new order of equality, which drew in Orion Pax to his cause and together they worked together to bring about a better society, and it was only at the end after toppling the hierarchy when Megatron revealed his true intentions were to rule Cybertron himself that Optimus and Megatron became enemies and the actual war began.

    I think this would be a great basis for the Cybertron storyline, focusing on the relationship between Optimus and Megatron and their struggle to bring about a better society until it reached the point where they became opponents on either side. The focus being on Optimus' decisions as the events unfolded and how those decisions or lack of foresight resulted in a broken relationship and a war which ended up destroying their society instead of bettering it.

    Concurrently the Earth storyline should be focused on a human plot. If it acts as a direct sequel to the Bumblebee movie then it will take place in the 80's and can be centered around the ending of the cold war and focus on elements of espionage which means the transformers would be acting covertly. Basically there is a threat from the soviets which Optimus believes a Decepticon is behind. To investigate it he joins up with humans to try and uncover this threat. Because they have to work covertly it means that the majority of Earth scenes will be in vehicle mode which hopefully would balance out the CGI costs of the Cybertron scenes. I mean they are supposed to be Robots in disguise after all, all they would have to do for the Earth scenes is "Nightrider" the human transformer interaction (I really don't understand why the live action films haven't exploited this element to date, it would be the most cost effective way to portray human and transformer interaction) and who doesn't want to be able to talk to their sports car or truck like Michael Knight did with Kit lol.

    Since the transformers are mainly restricted to vehicle mode in the Earth Storyline, the focus would be on the human element with Optimus prime and other autobots, although involved and assisting, being more of an Observer to the way the human events unfold whilst having flashbacks of similar situations faced in Cybertron.

    By the third act both timelines reach a precipice, where the characters in both timelines reach a similar/identical decision which will determine the fate of each world. In Cybertron the decision made by Optimus caused the rift with Megatron and started the war that doomed their planet. In the Earth timeline Optimus intervenes and stops the human characters of taking the same path, which requires him to betray his human ally to achieve it for the greater good. This turns the humans against the Autobots and they leave planet Earth at the end as they were no longer welcome (perhaps showing the humans instead siding with the Decepticons), with only Bumblebee remaining due to info they discovered when uncovering the decepticon/human element about Megatron and the cube. This should then tie it in to the events of 2007 movie (with tie in's to Dark of the Moon as well).

    Anyway those are just my premature thoughts for an outline of how both movies can be done as one, the mix between two concurrent timelines should see a reduction in CGI costs since earth scenes will be "nightridered" and focus more on the human good guy and bad guy interaction. We also see the background story of Cybertron and how the war started, and a character progression of a mostly flawless character.

    Problem is it would likely be a long movie, and due to the complex storylines not necessarily catered primarily for kids.

    Of course because the human element involves a spy/espionage focus, I would hope Jazz would play a pivotal role in the Earth storyline to redeem the terrible portrayal he got in the 2007 movie
    My wife asked me why I carry a gun?, I said "Decepticons"... She laughed, I laughed, the toaster laughed, I shot the toaster. It was a good day.

  5. #15
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    Optimus Prime is a difficult character to write for because he is the saviour archetype. But not impossible. He's much like Superman or Captain America; the boy scout known for having no real character flaws, and that's what makes these challenging characters to write for. On one hand, flaws/weaknesses can make characters interesting, but on the other hand you don't want to make a heroic character flawed to the point that it digresses away from the spirit of that character.

    The Right Way

    Examples of how this can be done well:
    * Superman (Christopher Reeve)
    * Wonder Woman (2017)
    * Captain America (MCU)
    These are your goodie two shoes heroes and heroine with no discernible character flaws. These characters don't fight evil because they feel obligated to but because they know it's the right thing to do. They just want to help to make the world a better place. This is quite different from heroic characters like Batman, Spider-Man or Iron Man who feel a strong sense of obligation (with great power yada yada yada). I feel that Optimus Prime would be best served being written from this perspective, at least in the beginning as Orion Pax and even as Optimus Prime on Cybertron. The G1 comics did make him an obligated hero because he was riddled with guilt for bringing the Cybertronian war to Earth and endangering its inhabitants -- so if people would rather see the obligated hero then that can work too by shifting his character later. But his character would have already been built up by a lot of his unobligated works.

    Take Captain America for example. He was initially used just for war propaganda to sell war bonds and entertain the troops, nothing more. But he always felt the strong desire to just help people because it was the right thing to do. This was part of Steve Roger's character even before he became Captain America. We see him attempt and fail to enlist several times. We see him stand up to a bully larger than himself, with that iconic line of, "I can do this all day." The reason why Professor Erskine chose Rogers to be the recipient for the Super Soldier serum was because he felt that he was worthy. He didn't want that power falling into the wrong hands -- Steve Rogers was already a top bloke before he got his powers. He was already desperately trying to be a hero. I think that Orion Pax could be written in a similar way.

    The Wrong Way

    I think that the way you don't handle this character is similar to the way that we've seen other saviour like characters written. So you do not...
    * Make him a Gary Stu. It's why I hate reading fan fics.
    * Make him dark, menacing and/or brooding. This would take him away from being Optimus Prime, and we've seen this in the Bayformers sequels. We saw DC do this with Henry Cavill's Superman.

    But the most important thing...
    ...and this is something that Travis Knight understands all too well and is something that's been sorely missing from Bayformers -- MAKE THE CHARACTER RELATABLE. That's it. That's the key ingredient. You can make him godlike and all, but he must be relatable. Captain America is a relatable guy. Dr Manhattan, not so much (not that he's meant to be). The audience must be able to emotionally invest in the protagonist. This is what's made Bumblebee work so much better as a story over all other TF films. We need to care!


  6. #16
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    Producer Di Bonaventura has noted that they have some story ideas being worked on, but reiterated the need for the Bumblebee Movie to be a financial success first.... and repeating the ideas already being floated - an animated movie, an Optimus Movie, a Beast Wars movie... or a combination of some of those ideas, while also reassuring us that he would still like to return to a big Blockbuster Transformers movie down the track.

  7. #17
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    Looks like Lorenzo is either trying to talk down doing a live action Beast Wars movie, or trying to talk up financial support for it, by estimating that it would cost about US$450 million to make... and that's even before marketing (which would be at least another $200 million), which would need to make well over a billion dollars before it even starts making money. It would actually need to make more than any of the previous Transformers movies to be considered profitable, and with the box office takings going down since the peak of TF3 (at $1.12 billion), it would be difficult to expect that a new movie could reach that, and even more difficult to convince investors that they could reach it (particularly with the Bumblebee movie making less than half a billion).

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