"Transformers: Rise of the Beasts"

Steven Caple Jr. Explains Hasbro Crossover in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’: ‘You Could Go Any Way’

(Editor’s note: The following article contains major spoilers for “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.”)

Robotic gorillas and 90’s needle drops weren’t the only changes to the “Transformers” franchise introduced in the new prequel “Rise of the Beasts.” The film ends with a surprise appearance by Michael Kelly as a military officer who attempts to recruit Anthony Ramos’ Noah to join him in an intergalactic war. The secret agency he works for? GI Joe.

The scene was seen by many as the beginning of a Hasbro cinematic universe that could unite the “Transformers” and “GI Joe” brands into one larger story. In a new interview with Uproxxdirector Steven Caple Jr. explained the decision to give Kelly the key role and teased what the future of the two toy franchises could be.

“We wanted to make sure that whoever we use isn’t like a full-blown Nick Fury,” said Caple. “When you start to compare and contrast with the other franchise. So, to me, it felt like there was a way to get Michael involved. He’s a phenomenal actor. And so having that in the mix and being able to build a team would have been really cool. But you could go in any direction with him. If he wanted to be a bad guy, if he wanted to be a good guy, if he wanted to be down for the cause, you just don’t know. So he felt precious that way.

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Caple clarified that he hopes to be heavily involved in building the new cinematic universe, which will begin with a rebooted cast of “GI Joe” characters entering the world of “Transformers.”

“YES. 100 percent. That’s definitely my plan,” he said when asked about rebooting the ‘GI Joe’ franchise while continuing to work on the ‘Transformers’ movies. “I think that’s what we have to wait on. But I’m still “Transformers”. I always mean ‘Transformers.’ But, I mean, between you and I, I know you’re going to read this later, but when you look at it, there’s a Transformer/GI Joe collaboration in the comics. And I read that years ago and thought this idea would always be interesting. So I won’t say I’m sticking with that storyline, but the fact that it was more like ‘GI Joe’ entering their world was interesting to me.

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is now in theaters.