Transformers 2006

”It is the year 2005. The treacherous Decepticons have conquered the Autobots' home planet of Cybertron. But, from secret staging grounds on two of Cybertron's moons, the valiant Autobots prepare to retake their homeland.” Those words are now burned into the consciousness of fans of 1986's Transformers: The Movie. It is the narration that takes place after the opening sequence and credits, and establishes among other things that the story has jumped ahead to the “future”. The third season of the cartoon, which picks up after the movie, is subsequently set in 2005-2006. Mankind has progressed and Earth's technology is on par with the Transformers' homeworld of Cybertron. We're not too far from the year 2005 ourselves now, but there are no hover cars, fashion doesn't consist of jumpsuits, and we haven't traveled any farther than our own moon. Sometimes setting a work of fiction in the future and specifying a date means that when that date is reached, the real world will in all likelihood not match the artist's vision. Yet 2005 holds a significance for Transformers fans, and while the year 2005 won't see Earth involved in an intergalactic civil war, plans are underway for a live-action Transformers movie in 2006.

No one's been cast yet. Fan speculation is running rampant on message boards however, and many hope voice legends Peter Cullen and Frank Welker will be asked to reprise their respective roles as Optimus Prime and Megatron, and accept. Many complications now exist that will demand significant changes to the original story. In the original series, Megatron transformed into a Walther P38 gun, and the toy version was far more realistic than could be safely allowed under the conditions of today's society. There's also the matter of the source of the Autobot's power and salvation. In 1986, there would be no copyright infringement when referring to the Matrix, but I think someone may have called a movie or series that or something since then. Don Murphy, producer of LXG among other projects, is producing this new film and has set up a message board to weed through the rumors, speculations, and roadblocks as the film development proceeds. I've been reading through this board, and found good news in that Simon Furman has been approached as a consultant. His run as writer on the Marvel comic revitalized the series and brought in some excellent concepts while developing existing ones, including exploring the religion and origins of the Transformer race.

I was talking about what a live-action Transformers movie would be like with my friends when I was ten or eleven years old. A lot of time has passed since the fifth grade, and technology has advanced enough that such a vision is finally possible. I've watched Shrek 2 with supreme awe at least five or six times in the last few days. Transformers have already seen a decent CGI treatment with Beast Wars and Beast Machines. Animator Michael Smith proved transformers could be portrayed as real with a video of a transforming Volkswagon. And a recent car commercial I've seen has me all the more convinced that this can be done, and can look amazing.

The future is now.....


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