Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Optimus Prime

Ok so I'll try to make this as concise as possible although I've been looking at this stuff for quite a bit now. Late last night AICN (Aint it Cool News ran a story showing a leaked picture of the vehicle form of Optimus Prime from the new Transformers movie. The picture like every single other pic from leaked from the set of the new TF movie was removed. If you'll recall I had posted some pics of Bumblebee a while ago. These pics were also taken down. Its a bit worrisome that Michael Bay (director) and the Spielberg (exec producer) camp are being so tight lipped on this thing. I'll reserve judgment or further worrying until after the San Diego International Comic-Con later this month (weekend of the 21st) where they should finally reveal more info, as they do have a panel scheduled; and theoretically we'll get some official pics from the film. But I can't help but be a bit worried at the lack of engagement with the fans. This isn't just any movie... its' TRANSFORMERS. Fans are not going to put up with a lot of crap.

Here's the AICN story where you can read Harry express his concerns for the film. Or read asshole talkbackers on the comment board rant. man they like never shut up. - READ

That said, I do have the Optimus picture for you. It's just his vehicle form but fanboys the net over are either wetting themselves with excitement or cursing Michael Bay. Here's the pic.

If you're not familiar with Optimus Prime he is the leader of the Autobots. Check out his really extensive WIKI for more. Basically he's the main good guy in the story, and overall pretty damn cool.

Now of course comes the controversy. Yes Optimus is still the cab of a big rig, but as far as I can tell it’s his color scheme that has people pissed. He is "supposed" to be a classic primary blue and red color. I assume most people would remember his look fairly well from the 80s cartoon series. Well, that look is considered Generation 1. And THAT is what the fanboys want. I however, while I am a big TF fan don't really care if they want to change things around some. so what he's got a flame paint scheme, its reddish, and as far as I see the rest of him is a nice dark blue. Optimus has in fact had a number of different changes in his look before and people didn't get all pissy about it. Check out some of these variations (on his vehicle form) that I found on internet, the first one even really looks a lot like the movie version:

So looking at these pics it's kind of interesting to see how the character has been reinterpreted over the years. And people also need to remember, you don't own the right to say how this character should look. I mean hell, aside from Hasbro, the friggin cartoon isn't even American. If anyone, any culture should get a say in which look is adopted it should be them. And what about all the various cartoon looks? What about the comics? There were successful versions of TF comics from Marvel, Devil's Due, and Dreamwave, which one of those is right?! I can get kinda fanboy about things, but I'll tell you someone slap me if I ever get pissed off that someone is adapting a story for a new medium and I start to bitch about changes. Thats why its an adaptation. And changes CAN be good. Case in point, my favorite version of Optimus:

Actually this is just one of my two favorite Optimus toys. This is the Transtech Optimus Primal toy that was a follow up toy line to the Beast Wars cartoon. My actual favorite version of Optimus is probably the cartoon Beast Wars season 2 transmetal version, or the Dreamwave G1 comic book version. Of course I can't seem to find a good picture of either of those. So whatever. Basically I'm saying there have been lots of different versions of the character. The version above for example while looking far more humanized in robot form, actually transforms into a Silverback Gorilla, albeit a gorilla covered in futuristic metal armor. People who like to bitch about this crap should realize that change can only expand the mythos. And if you don't believe that it can be done, just go watch the Beast Wars and Beast Machines television series made by Mainframe Entertainment. BW WIKI, D.D.D., Netflix. Maybe my favorite cartoon of all time. And you guys know how much I like cartoons.

Anyhow, my point is let's reserve judgment people, at least until we see a bit more. I know Michael Bay has a less than stellar track record (IMDB), but I'm hopeful. There have been some IMO good reports so far about this film. Check out this other AICN article where Quint did a set visit HERE, and you can stay on top of all the official news at Superhero Hype! HERE.

Finally check out this video on You Tube. It's a production diary or behind the scenes preview kinda thing for the new TF movie. I wouldn't be surprised if they screen this at Comic-Con. Note that a lot if not all of those images of the bots are from other places (eg the dancing bot is from a series of commercials for the new
Cirton C4: one, two). I don't know if some of them are production sketches and/or mock ups but it seems that way. The video gets interesting about halfway through when Spielberg shows up. Check it HERE.

Ok, that’s like a lot of TF crap for one day; I'm done now. Can you tell I'm excited by the film yet? Cause I am. Anyhow, I'll definitely chime in with my comments as more info becomes available. Talk to you all later.

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