ign.com reports that Steven S. DeKnight was at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today for a panel devoted to Netflix series showrunners, discussing his time working on Marvel’s Daredevil. While DeKnight has stepped down from that role for Season 2, thanks to prior commitments, he had some time before that next project – which DeKnight isn’t able to reveal details on yet – got going, which led to his recent stint in the Transformers writers room.
Taking a page from how a TV show is run, Paramount assembled a big group of experienced writers to help chart out the future of the Transformers film series, under the guidance of Akiva Goldsman, as the studio looks to build more of an expanded Transformers movie universe. I asked DeKnight what the experience was like taking that TV dynamic and using it in film, and he had an enthusiastic reply.
“It's that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to really try and plan things out. It was a wonderful experience. Akiva Goldsman was fantastic and Jeff Pinkner, who's co-writing the fifth [Transformers] movie with him was phenomenal. Zak Penn... It was just a room full of brilliant, funny, amazing people. And we spent two and a half weeks in physically the best writers room I've ever seen in my life. Paramount pulled out all the stops. It was phenomenal! We laughed and joked and told stories and plotted out...”
DeKnight had to keep his secrets about Transformers, noting, “I can't say what we plotted out, but it was all very exciting and in the next few months we'll see what moves forward and what doesn't move forward. But it was a fantastic experience. One of the best experiences of that was when Steven Spielberg popped by one afternoon to just sit and talk and hear what we were working on. Everybody was about to throw up, they were so excited.”
Regarding how this might change the Transformers films, DeKnight remarked, “It remains to be seen. I think the biggest thing something like that does when you're dealing with a franchise that is so global and makes so much money is actually taking a moment to really think things out. Because a lot of the times, you go into production, you don't have a finished script or your script is still being worked on. And it's very difficult to work that way. I can't imagine... Especially with the second movie, when the writers strike happened and Michael Bay had to start prepping anyway, I can't imagine trying to prep a movie of that size and complexity and not having a locked script. And it happens all the time in movies. You just have to start because of people's availabilities. So my hats off to Paramount for trying something new in this way and really giving this writers room thing a spin. But for me, it was a fantastic experience. I loved it.”
animenewsnetwork.com reports that Monday's episode of the anime web series Q Transformers: Kaettekita Convoy no Nazo, featuring chibi Autobots and Decepticons in silly adventures, included a special appearance by a character from the Sengoku Basara video game and anime series. The fourth episode of the anime was presented as a parody radio talk show that guest starred Sanada Yukimura, voiced by Souichiro Hoshi. The episode can be viewed here:
The anime focuses on making Autobots more popular, so the hosts ask for Sanada's advice as, what with the Sengoku Basara games being so well-liked. The Autobots try emulating their guest by imitating his introduction speech, drawing similarities and differences between their respective works, and even trying to come up with humorous special attacks.
This collaboration was done to promote the updated Sengoku Basara 4 on the PlayStation 4 and PS3, Sengoku Basara 4: Sumeragi. The game was released on July 23 in Japan to celebrate the franchise's 10th anniversary.
Mashable reports that Chinese soldiers have managed to convert military vehicle's spare parts into a robot!Apparently China loves Transformers, with Transformers 4, grossing more than $300 million. ״We're not asking for a fifth Transformers movie, but if Paramount is thinking about making one this guy at least deserves a cameo.״ Said a Chinese spokesman.Read more here: http://mashable.com/2015/07/23/chinese-transformer/
It was standing room only at Mississauga’s TFCon when Peter Cullen, the voice behind the iconic Transformers’ character Optimus Prime, took to the stage for a Q&A session with fans.
“It’s so great to be back on Canadian soil,” Cullen proclaimed before taking pre-screened questions from the audience at the annual Transformers convention on Saturday, July 18.
The Canadian voice actor is, perhaps, best known for his portrayal of Optimus Prime in the 1980s G1 Transformers cartoon and later iterations of the character.
The popularity of the Autobot leader was something Cullen did not really appreciate until years after the iconic character met his untimely death in the 1986 Transformers animated movie.
Cullen joked about how he discovered Optimus Prime’s fate. He recalled reading the script with Frank Welker, who voiced Megatron and many other characters on the show.
“Hey Frank, I’m getting whacked on page 17,” Cullen recalled telling his friend, only to read some pages ahead. “I’m not coming back. There go the car payments.”
Cullen said he decided if he was going to die, it was going to be the best acting of a dying robot ever, but knowing less was more, he just did it and got out of there. Years later he learned that the 90-minute cartoon was not a success. Children left the theatres and parents were upset and made a fuss.
“I hated it,” Cullen said of the killing of Optimus Prime.
But it was a cartoon meant to sell toys, so the focus was on merchandising and business design, not judging the popularity of characters. Cullen did not even realize how popular the transforming truck was because there was no Internet and he never saw any of the fan mail.
The public outcry, however, saw the character return for three episodes “to tell kids Optimus Prime is alive and well and no longer living in poverty,” Cullen joked.
The actor went on voice other characters in ‘80s cartoons, including in Voltron and G.I. Joe. And for 17 years he was the voice of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh. He would eventually reprise his role as Optimus Prime in later animated series as well as the movies.
When rumours that a Transformers live action movie was in the works, fans took to the Internet arguing the project would never make it without Cullen and Welker. Cullen eventually received a call to audition for the role of Optimus Prime. He had to go in for a second audition weeks later, but soon after he was informed he had the part.
Cullen credits the “groundswell” of support from his fan base for landing the gig.
“I love you guys,” he said.
While Cullen returned to voice Optimus Prime, fans weren’t able to bring back the Megatron they grew up with. Bay instead hired Hugo Weaving to voice Prime’s nemesis (although Welker brought his talent to the character for the video game off spin).
A character meant to sell toys, for fans Optimus Prime has come to symbolise an incorruptible figure with a strong moral character and respect for all life. He is a brilliant, albeit reluctant, military strategist who strives for peace but is willing to fight for the weak. He not only inspires his ragtag team of Cybertronians with his gentle leadership, he also inspired a generation of children.
“He was well-conceived and brilliantly written,” Cullen said of the character, adding that Optimus Prime has so many great qualities and over time he has felt it necessary to be true to those ideals. “I still feel that way.”
That meant challenging the use of a line during the feature film. He would not share the line with the audience, but indicated it involved the everyday usage of violence. He expressed his disdain and reluctance to say the line.
“I’ve never had to do that again, so I won,” Cullen said of staying true to Prime’s character.
Tracking renegade Decepticons isn’t easy… but that’s what BUMBLEBEE, STRONGARM, GRIMLOCK, and the rest of the team are on Earth to do. But when your so-called friends from TRANSFORMERS PRIME show up and don’t tell you they’re here—or why they’re here—things get harder. It’s a mash-up of fan-favorite TRANSFORMERS characters you’ll only find in the comics—plus an exclusive downloadable character for the TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE LIVE app!
Taken from Techspot.com:Panasonic recently revealed plans to sell a consumer-grade robotic exoskeleton suitlater this year. The Assist Suit AWN-03 is designed to help manual labor workers lift heavy objects with less strain, thus potentially reducing the risk of long-term injury.The futuristic suit was developed by Panasonic subsidiary Activelink. Weighing just 13 pounds, the Assist Suit attaches to the back, thighs and feet of its wearer and helps them lift an additional 33 pounds. Panasonic says it’s best suited for people weighing between 110 and 176 pounds.Recent advancements in the field of technology have enabled us to bring all sorts of sci-fi creations to life. Up until just recently, true virtual reality was little more than a pipe dream and hoverboards only existed in the movies. Heck, we've even sent a space probe to the outer reaches of our solar system.Robotic limbs aren’t entirely new as they’ve been used in the medical field as prosthetics for years. Even exoskeletons have been utilized by the military and in the medical field but Panasonic’s creation is one of the first being made available to the average consumer.Panasonic spokesperson Mio Yamanaka said his company expects exoskeletons, or power-assist suits, will be widely used in people’s lives within the next 15 years for all sorts of tasks that require physical strength. A few of the examples Yamanaka cited include agriculture, forestry and construction work.The Assist Suit AWN-03 is expected to retail for around $8,000 when it goes on sale in September.
Following recent Angry Birds 2 and Lego Angry Birds news, there is an update for Rovio’s popular tap and shoot game, Angry Birds Transformers, that adds crafting and characters. In Angry Birds Transformers (iTunes) you play as different Transformer and Decepticon characters each depicted as either birds or pigs. The latest update adds a raft of new features. Firstly, long awaited character Bluestreak has been added, played by The Blues birds who also now appear as Prowl. These characters have their own upgrade trees and special attacks that can be progressed through in-app purchases or performing well in the game. Both Bluestreak and Prowl are unlock in the Portal Missions. More interesting for longstanding Angry Bird Transformer players is the addition of floating sentinel robots. These droids can be called in to assist during a level and act as autonomous side-kicks. A range of different “Energonicon” attack droids can be called in wielding fireballs, lightning storms, and 40 or so other unique skills. Players create these droid helpers in Professor Pig’s Crafting Lab. The crafting element is a good addition and nods a wink at games like Minecraft and Terraria. Providing parents are aware of the in-app purchases, Angry Birds Transformers continues to be a good choice for some family entertainment this holidays.
Our latest update from TFcon Toronto comes in the shape of a call for questions for the Peter Cullen Q&A panel taking place at the event this weekend of July 17th-18th. If you have something you wanted to ask the voice of Optimus Prime (and just a generally good human), read on below to find out how!
While we know almost everyone would like a chance to ask Mr. Cullen a question during his panel, we have a limited time frame to deal with. As such TFcon will be taking question submissions for the Peter Cullen Q&A until Wednesday July 15th. Please email your questions to email@example.com with the subject Peter Cullen Q&A along with your full name. If your question is chosen you will have the opportunity to ask your question live to Mr. Cullen during his panel.
So something that's been going around in my head lately -
Is Hot Rod an alter ego to Rodimus Prime like Clark Kent is an alter ego to Superman?
I mean, they are both a different character (also sold separately...) and when they are in one mode, there's no reference to the other. In Hot rod's situation, once he is Prime then there's no reference to his other ego. BTW: Do you think he takes out the matrix from his chest on time to time and spends a little time as Hot Rod? I wonder...
So what do you think? Your comments are welcome.
Can we say Hot Rod is Rodimus's alter ego as well?
As most of you probably know, the great Megatron aka Frank Welker was in BotCon and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
To show my respect to the real person, here is a great Youtube video that shows the many voices of this great man: https://youtu.be/jnF5gpn8k5Y
Seibertron.com brings you Top 5 Worst Shellformers Transformers Toys
As Beast Wars fan, I grew up on shellformers. Since an animal is not metallic in nature (they soon found a way around that)it always made sense to me that part of the animal couldn't integrate completely into the robot mode. I only realized later that they got a bad rap and I understand why now: it can yield to very lazy and unattractive designs. Shelformers are a sad sight when you know it's possible for the robot to have some alt mode integration or, even worse, when the character model shows alt mode integration. In that scenario, a fake piece of kibble is made to make up for the shell kibble that they couldn't bother integrating. That's DOUBLE KIBBLE!!!! Before I pull an aneurysm, let's just get to the list...
The extent of how poor a shellformer this is, is entirely due to the contrast against the leader size mold of this character that actually uses the shell in a far more interesting way. For one, this toy doesn't incorporate the shell into the figure in any way. While the leader version uses the front of the firetruck as his chest, this one resorts to leaving the front of the truck to fold on it's back and relies on a fake kibble piece to make up the chest. Also, while the leader figure uses the shell of the truck to create a stylish cape or celestial garment of sorts, the voyager just has the entire truck shell just stay unfolded in it's back making it look like a robot just skinned a truck to wear it like a tortoise shell. It also makes a horrible backpack that is placed far from the figure as if neither modes want anything to do with one another.
What did I write above again? Oh, right: Using a shell can result in a very lazy looking and unattractive design. It is made worse when the excess shell kibble results in a massive backpack, which detracts from the sleek robot. Man, Sideswipe here must be studying for all his courses tonight because look at the big backpack he needs to carry all his books!
3. Beast Wars Neo Break
While the Beast Wars Neo line took the idea of a shellformer to a whole other level, the results were usually very intriguing, and sometimes pretty bad ass, making its use of kibble endearing to the line as a whole. But Beast Wars Neo's Break is just too much to bear. While animals disguised as robots may get more of a pass over being a shellformer, due to necessity, this guy just pushes it too far. He looks like a giant kinder surprise egg that someone smash opened to find a robot inside. Without hyperbole, this is the equivalent of a G1 Pretender who's robot mode had pieces of the outer pretender shell glued all over it. That penguin head just sitting there among the debris right in the open is the icing on this terribly tasting cake.
You would think that by 2014, robots entirely covered by a shell and just brought to the back would be a thing of the past. But no, they were (are) still alive and well and that year even gave us one of the biggest shellformer offenders. There are even photos all over the internet showing both the robot and truck mode of First Editions AOE Optimus side by side, WHILE USING THE SAME TOY!
This is an extremely inefficient transformer whose body length shell serves as the main disguise to a robot that doesn’t pose at all. It also has barely no alt mode integration (only her feet). The joke of having a robot surprise in a shell that is usually done to poor Break above is brought to the extreme here. The shell is so big and overwhelming that she can’t stand on her own and it limits any motion she might have. If anyone cares, this mini review was quite easy as I simply used something I had written for Beast Wars Cybershark and just wrote the opposite of every positive aspect about that figure. And Thunderblast came out 10 years after that figure! I really could not think of a better toy to show how bad shellforming could be.
Honourable mentions: I didn't want to fill this list entirely with Beast Wars Neo figures for several reasons. Firstly, as mentioned in the intro, the use of a shell for robots disguised as animals makes sense. If you went for total alt mode integration, Long Rack would look like a buffoon (more so). However, as you saw I couldn't resist but include the biggest shellformer offender that line had to offer. I would say Beast Wars Ironhide is probably the most intense shellformer ever but it works for the awesome combined form of Magnaboss and I didn't find it fair to fault him on that.
I would like to thank Cobotron for the image of Break. In two weeks, the BEST Shellformers. Talk to you then!