Hey folks, Harry here... This movie had better rule like nothing has ruled before. I want badass awesome Transformers movie... till then, I have to satiate myself with super cool Japanese film THE RETURNER - which has some Transformer action in it. And yes, that action rules hardcore!
The Official Transformers Collector's Convention was this past weekend, and there were obviously some fairly big announcements on the future of the franchise.
The first word is that the movie is still on track, but there is no script yet or director. Desanto is working on a story that will remain true to the comics and will feature all Generation One characters. Vince Dicola, the man behind the score to the original Transformers movie, was in attendance and said he's actively seeking the job for the new movie. He's helped lend new music to a couple Transformer projects since the movie and has been great about getting out to the cons.
Hasbro said at the current rate, we can expect the movie to run in 2005, which is appropriately the same year the original film took place. No toy line is planned to work with the movie yet, but we do have a 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime coming....
He was shown off briefly at the Hasbro panel before disappearing again. I heard rumours that the head fell off their hand painted prototype, which I suppose wouldn't make for a great showing in the display case later in the day....
TV wise, "Transformers Armada: The Unicron Battles" will run this fall on Cartoon Network and will bring the bad guy to end all bad guys back into cannon. But thats not all! Next year "Transformers: Energon" will start on Cartoon Network and will directly follow up the Armada story. We'll have more combiners, more minicons, and some fan favorites like Ravage back in line. Apparently the Unicron story will unfold in a way that will lead into an energy crisis, getting Transformers at last back to the very roots of the story from 20 years ago. Voice actors Garry Chalk (prime) and David Kaye (megatron) had a panel, and said they haven't been approached for the new series yet, but they're typically the last to know when the animation is overseas like this.
Dreamwave were on hand to talk about their continuing line of books based on G1 and other properties. Just like the Armada show, the Armada comic will become Energon at the end of its run and pick up with the same characters in the new story. In the mean time, Armada issue 14 will begin a crossover with original G1 characters being pulled into the Armada universe (I'm guessing by Unicron), inciting further confusion and most likely more death. check the cover here: click
The current "War & Peace" mini-series will wrap up with #6 and will lead directly into a G1 ongoing book. This is good, because I was having serious doubts that Shockwave's takeover of Cybertron could be resolved so quickly. They're promising some real shocks, and they've delivered a book several magnitudes better than last year's g1 mini-series, so I'm excited.
"The War Within" will get a sequel series, with more civil war on acient Cybertron. The new book will be called "The Dark Ages" and faction will splinted further, with as many as 6 armies of Transformers all fighting against each other. Prime & Megatron will play smaller roles this time around as there will be more explosive (and interesting) elements at play such as The Wreckers (the now infamous special forces team that originated in the old UK Transformer book). Who better to bring it back than original UK Transformer writer Simon Furman and artist Andrew Wildman!
Dreamwave did stress they haven't forgotten about the rest of Transformers cannon and that we can expect Beast Wars and Robots in Disguise stories in the coming years.
Also on the comic front, Simon Furman is writing the new "Transformers Universe" comics to be packed in with new toys and the first issue will be at Wizard World in Chicago in a couple weeks. Furman stressed that because "Universe" will cross all timelines and all continuities, no character, story, location, or device is out of bounds, and he has been given free reign to kill off, bring back, or assemble any characters he wants. This drew some applause from long time fans like myself who love seeing stuff like that happen and knew Furman loves writing characters in for the specific purpose of being toasted by the end of the story.
All in all, Transformers isn't going away for anybody and the conventions are getting bigger and bigger with more and more fan-run conventions popping up all the time. Yes, its a kid's toy line, but you'd never know it with all the full grown men and women running around Chicago this past weekend.