Transformers: Rise of the Beasts marks the first film about those “robots in disguise” since 2018’s Bumblebee, and will star Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos as its central characters.

Paramount held a virtual showcase yesterday, teasing the seventh installment of the billion-dollar grossing blockbuster franchise, which recently entered production, and offered new details regarding the story and characters.

Set in 1994 Brooklyn, the feature will move between New York and Machu Pichu. On the side of the Autobots, Optimus Prime will return as the main hero, while director Steven Caple Jr. (Sleight, Creed II) looks to expand the big-screen world past the familiar. A clash between different tribes of alien robots will introduce the Predacons and other breeds, which will mark off the “Beast Wars” period in the Transformers developing universe.

“In their disguise they [take on] animal form,” said Caple Jr. “So… in our film, they’re these prehistoric animals that travel through time and space, and we find them here on Earth.” 

The Terrorcons, reptilian-like villians, will present another “new threat,” leaving the world up to be saved by the Autobots and the Maximals. “We’ve seen a few in other Transformers films, but [in the new film], we get to see another side of them,” said Caple Jr. “It’s all about building a backstory to these characters, and we’ll see that more on the Predacon and Terrorcon side.” With the promise of new villains and heroes, Ramos and Dominique will present the human throughline that shows off new details about their characters. 

“I’m playing an intelligent artifact researcher who works at a museum,” said Fishback, who is still riding high from the Oscar nod that Judas and the Black Messiah received. “She’s trying to get a leg up in life but her boss keeps taking credit for the work she’s done, so she’s trying to [move out] on her own.” 

Ramos’ character Noah is a military vet who lives in Brooklyn with his family, serving as a father figure, of sorts, for his brother. “He’s all about taking care of the people he loves,” Ramos said. “[He comes] from a lower-income home, so Noah’s always hustling.” 

Ramos, who can currently be seen in Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, plans on drawing a distinctive line between his character and the previous heroes from the franchise. “The one thing I love about Noah is his tenacity and his heart, and his will to never quit, in spite of all the crazy things life is throwing at him,” the actor continued. “Then, it’s amazing to see his journey when we venture out into the world, when the humans meet bots and things start to happen.”

Since its launch in 2007, Transformers has proven to be a lucrative and enduring franchise, grossing more than $4 billion worldwide. Paramount Pictures is set to release Transformers: Rise of the Beasts on June 24, 2022.