Today's Transformers: Rise of the Beasts press event threw a lot of information into the ether. Among them was information on several of the characters in the film. Here's a rundown of the characters based on the descriptions and notes I took during the event (including actor names where revealed). You can read my archived live Tweets here.
Anthony Ramos as “Noah”
Noah is an ex-military member who returned to his home in Brooklyn, NY to live with and support his mother and brother. He is a father figure to his brother and is always striving to do what's right. He has to hustle to support the family, part of which involves using his genius with electronics to repair broken equipment.
Dominique Fishback as “Elena”
Elena is a researcher specializing in ancient artifacts. While her work should speak for itself, her boss often takes credit for her success.
Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
The Autobot Leader returns and will take the center stage in this film (just as Bumblebee was the focus of the Bumblebee movie). In this film we will see Optimus Prime come to adopt Earth as a second home and learn to care for its inhabitants. This film will get beneath his "stoicism" to see what makes him tick a bit more than previous films.
His updated form will be a riff off both G1 Optimus Prime and the model seen in the Bumblebee movie. The concept art appeared a bit sleeker and while he is boxy, director Caple Jr. made it a point to mention that his design allows him to move freely without looking awkward.
Bumblebee will appear in the film but not as the lead character as he has in most Transformers films. His alt-mode concept art was revealed as an off-road version of his retro Camaro form. The wheels are much larger, raising the car up quite a bit and they come out to the side more. A cage is attached to the front, leading to the windshield and then on the top of the car. The cage includes extra headlights in front and on the top. Caple Jr. mentioned that like G1 designs, the robot mode would feature bits of the vehicle form but he was not specific how.
Riffing off her appearance in the Bumblebee movie, Arcee's robot form looks like a mash up between her G1 and Energon forms. Her form is curved and lithe, but she features vehicle mode parts such as wheels hanging off the back of her. The wheels (or wheel halves?) are on the back of her lower body. Her head design is very G1 which was a joy to see. She is mostly red and white. Arcee transforms into a Ducati 916 motorcycle.
Caple Jr. indicated he wanted a strong female character in the film and Arcee fit the bill perfectly, and it helps that she was introduced in Bumblebee. Fans who were not happy with her end in Revenge of the Fallen (assuming we're even in the same continuity) will likely prefer this portrayal.
Mirage is an Autobot, but he is also a bit of an outlaw and very "anti-authority". It was mentioned he would stir up trouble for the Autobots. His alt-mode will be a Porsche 911, featuring silver and blue colors. This is an interesting choice as this mode is most often associated with Autobot Jazz. Though I suppose an F-1 race car would not exactly be inconspicuous. It will also be interesting to see if Hasbro managed to get permission to make a toy of the Porsche 911, something the company has denied for years.
Nightbird is that wild card in war that you cannot fully understand. She has switched sides (presumably from the Decepticons) to the Terrorcons, and now acts as Scourge's second in command.
Nightbird's robot design features some G1 Nightbird elements, most notably the head that looks like she is wearing a hood and a purple/black/dark grey color scheme. Her concept art showed her carrying a Katana sword in one hand and two blades on her other forearm. There are some sharp blade like details on her, but she also definitely features some alt-mode kibble in robot mode. Nightbird transforms into a Nissan GTR.
Scourge is the prideful leader of the Terrorcons. He is also a collector, who hunts Autobots and Maximals alike then rips off their faction symbols and integrates them into his own body. The Terrorcons are their own faction, not aligned with the Decepticons or Predacons. They are a threat to everyone in the universe. The Terrorcons are described as "reptilian" in nature and Caple Jr. mentioned we have seen Transformers like them before in previous films (perhaps the Dreads?).
Scourge's concept art only showed his robot mode in shadow. He has a lot of spikes and angles on his body, very reminiscent of Cybertron Scourge and Beast Hunters Predaking. His left hand is a giant claw hand with four "fingers". The other is also claw-like but smaller. Interestingly, there are smokestacks mounted on his back.
Airazor's personality in the film is influenced from the 90's cartoon. She is described as the "heart" of the Maximals and a caregiver by nature. However when necessary she can also be a fierce warrior. Airazor's concept art only showed her beast mode, which had a very interesting aesthetic. Imagine an organic bird, but with some metallic angles to it. However the color and texture suggests rust and wear with a suggestion of organic feathers. Her eyes however were glowing blue revealing her true nature.
Rhinox's personality is also influenced from his 90's cartoon portrayal. While he is definitely the "muscle" and power house of the Maximals, he is also a mechanic and smart. The concept art showed his beast mode which looks like a giant rhino with segmented parts running from the head to the tail. The middle section of the body appears to have about 3-5 large armor panels running along the body, with seams in between. While the grey coloring suggests metal, it was said the Maximals also have "fur and hide" on them.
The Maximals are said to be ancient creatures and Optimus Primal is one of the oldest. He is wise and the fatherly figure among the Maximals. He takes care of his own and his personality will offer Optimus Prime a kindred spirit to communicate with. To prevent confusion, Optimus Prime is referred to as "Prime" by the production staff so as not to confuse him with Primal.
Optimus Prime's appearance looks very similar to the gorilla concept art from The Last Knight revealed years ago. However, the more Prime-like aspects of the head design have been toned down and the "skin" of the character now is a mixture of fur and metal, calling back to his techno-organic nature.
There are more characters in the film than were revealed at today's press event. As more news is put out there, BWTF will post it to keep you, the fans, informed! For now, head over to Twitter and/or Facebook to chat about these reveals with your fellow fans!