Indiana Jones, Guardians of the Galaxy and Transformers trailers: a nerdy triple threat
All three look great, but Transformers excited me the most
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: trio of trailers
👶 Indiana Jones 5 has some crazy de-aging tech, fun homages
🎶 This could be John Williams’ last score
🌳 Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is the final installment
🦍 Optimus Primal returns!
🤖 Robots in disguise hit the big screen again June 9, 2023
This week has been big for nerd wish fulfillment, as Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, and Transformers all received trailers for their coming installments, and each one of them looks like a delightful ride. Guardians put a lot of emotional notes in the trailer, which feels right for what is promised to be the final film in a trilogy – gotta have an emotional send-off, right? – then again, as Indiana Jones has already shown, you should never say never. The trailer shows lots of bizarre spacescapes, some of what appears to be the quantum realm, and a once-more fully-grown Groot!
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Speaking of which, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny looks incredibly promising. Harrison Ford’s final turn as the iconic adventuresome archeologist is helmed by James Mangold, whose directorial resume includes the best of the Wolverine movie franchise and western remake 3:10 to Yuma. The movie may also be John Williams’ last film score, committing to history a legacy that stretches back 70 years to his first composition, for a 1952 short film called You Are Welcome.
The trailer features a de-aged Harrison Ford which was convincing enough that I spent much of the rest of the trailer trying to place which older Indiana Jones movie the brief shot was from.
Mangold’s Indy movie gives me cautious hope for Ford’s last crusade, which also brings back John Rhys-Davies as his old friend Sallah, who seems to be the catalyst for the new adventure. New to the franchise are the excellent Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Mads Mikkelsen (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Antonio Banderas (Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever), and Toby Jones (Captain America: the First Avenger), who is so perfect for an Indiana Jones movie that I thought for sure he was already in one (I was definitely thinking of Ronald Lacey as Toht).
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is the real star
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today – I’m sure there are plenty of worthy film buffs out there picking apart those trailers. What I’m here to talk about is Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, or what I prefer to call Beast Wars: The Movie, which I somehow missed the announcement of last year.
If you were between the ages of about 7 and 15 in the mid-to-late 90s, you were treated to one of the finest television programs to have ever existed: Beast Wars: Transformers. Beast Wars followed the struggle of Optimus Prime (dubbed “Optimus Primal” in this series) and his team, which included fellow Autobots Rattrap, Cheetor, and Rhinox, when they’re stranded on a remote planet full of energon, the fuel which powers them.
It turns out there’s so much it’s actually killing them, prompting their and the also-marooned Decepticons’ evolution into their organic forms. In their new forms, the self-dubbed Maximals and Predacons then spent three blissful seasons battling one another.
When it and the 2-season follow-up called Beast Machines were canceled, it seemed the book was closed for the organic Transformers. You can imagine my surprise yesterday, then, when I saw a preview with a big gorilla named Optimus Primal in it. Not only that, but he’s voiced by my close and personal savior, Ron Perlman.
Like other Transformers movie trailers, it’s full of action, light on story (there’s a vague threat like nothing we’ve ever seen before), and features a special bond between a boy and his robo-car (this time, it’s a Porche).
Rise of the Planet of the ApesRise of the Beasts (did they think we wouldn’t notice?) is the first of a trilogy planted between Michael Bay’s first Transformers movie and 2018’s Bumblebee, and director Steve Caple, Jr. has said it will involve time travel and will set up how Optimus Prime and his band of Autobots came to be the guardians of Earth.
I’m not a Transformers nerd, but I was a huge fan of Beast Wars, and this has me giddy for its release on June 9, 2023.