Are Audiences Ready For A TF Character movie?

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by agent j 15, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. agent j 15

    agent j 15 poopity-scoop

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    When I say “tf character movie” I don’t mean something like a Marvel spin off where it’s just set up for a later team up, those are fun and all but I’m thinking more cerebral. I mean a movie that is about (mostly) one single character, and that character happens to be a transformer. They’re are given the same level of depth, complexity, and development as the protagonist of any other character movie, they’re just a robot. And sure, there would be action, it’d be almost impossible to make a TF movie without it, but for the most part the movie would be about their personal, emotional journey.

    There’s logistical issues, sure - character movies tend to involve the protagonist having a lot of screen time, and for a fully CG character that would eat up a lot of the budget. I also don’t know if audiences are ready or if they even WANT a slower, character focused TF movie. For the mainstream I imagine there’s a precedent set for these movies of “explosions”, and unless you can make it clear with advertising that this wouldn’t be that idk how you’d go about it.

    You could also make the argument that Bumblebee is kind of this, but Bumblebee is still a little bouncy and melodramatic (in a good way that is). Also, while Bee is handled decently as a character, that movie really belongs to Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie, as it’s primarily about her and her journey. It’s WHY the movie works as well as it does, is because the main character has a single steady through-line.

    Though it does bring up a more specific yet substantial hindrance to getting this idea off the ground - few actors have the humility to have their face obscured through CGI in a movie that they have a majority of the screen time in. Yes, mocap actors like Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbel have given incredible performances, but they also respect mocap as an art. Most big name actors want their face on screen in a role if it’s a live action movie (unless they’re getting paid a shit ton for what is primarily a voice role, but I’m also dying firmly on the “transformers should be done with mocap” hill).

    I don’t know. A live action movie where the main character is almost entirely CGI is something I think has only been done a handful of times, however I think with Transformers especially it’s a perfect idea. Any good TF story should focus on Transformers more as sentient individuals as opposed to giant war machines, and a movie where our protagonist is one of the robots in disguise is a great place to start.
     
  2. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid perma pissed off edgelord

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    Why wouldn't they be
     
  3. Jochimus

    Jochimus Sandwiches? Blimey, whatever did I give the wife?

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    I think audiences are ready for it, definitely.

    It's the studio I don't think is ready for it (and that was before the pandemic hit).
     
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  4. Honorbound

    Honorbound Bayverse Optimus was in the right.

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    Audiences are ready for whatever entertains them. Like @Jochimus said, it's getting the studio onboard that's the problem.
     
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  5. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Droppin' Space Colonies

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    The "CGI-is-expensive" excuse really doesn't hold water anymore. I mean, they still ride it, but it's a lie. The problem isn't not being able to afford CGI in so much as it is these idiots in charge don't respect HOW to use it. Shit like Devestator, Shockwave's worm, Lockdown's gravity ship and space zoo, and too many sequences in TLK to list - CGI is wasted on "centerpiece" style props that last maybe a couple of minutes at most but are ultimately a poor utilization of resources that would be better devoted elsewhere.

    Likewise, for whatever reason the people behind the bay films believed that by turning into vehicles, the transformers stopped being aliens simply disguised as replicas as opposed to actual vehicles with a few extra features. Namely, they don't talk. Which is dumb as hell because the important thing is character presence not so much as simply having the robot on screen. Simply having any human actors talking with the robot character while they're "disguised" in car mode in public would be an excellent way to get robot screen time without having to use CGI, since in reality it's just footage of an actor talking to a car with the robot character's VA dubbed over the footage in post.

    This is non-sensical, you get big name 'face' actors doing voice over work all the time. Hell, originally Lorenzo diBonavantura wanted Liam Nielsen to voice Optimus Prime because of name recognition and nothing else.

    As much as I think the film is quite terrible, Chappie is a good example of how to get a mostly CGI character done for almost a full film.
     
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  6. Venixion

    Venixion Evil Dust Bunny-con

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    I thought that's what Bumblebee was for?
     
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  7. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    Done well I think audiences could like it, but I'm not sure that's what audiences are really looking for. And I don't think Hollywood is ready to do that type of movie. The Paramount executives wouldn't take someone seriously if they walked in and said they wanted to make a slower character study starring a Transformer. They'd be asking where are the explosions and hip actors that appeal to young people. They're far more likely to invest their millions of dollars in stuff like Bumblebee, that has an easy-to-digest ET-esque plot and relatable human drama. Those sort of movies don't require a lot of risk taking. I'm sure Paramount signed off on Bumblebee because someone pitched it as "ET with Transformers' most profitable character".

    To do a slower character study, someone would essentially need to do a Transformers indie movie. Which would be tricky, in terms of acquiring the rights and affording the effects. I don't ever see it happening. I think character studies and stuff like that are better suited to a comic, which can be made for a much smaller cost (and only has to appeal to existing fans).

    And to be completely honest...I'm not sure Transformers really needs a slower character study. It certainly would be interesting (I'd go see it), but I think Transformers work best as bigger pulpy ensemble action movies. The Transformers characters aren't terribly complex, and I'm not sure audiences (or even most fans) are looking for a character study starring a Transformer. I think most people just want them to be good characters in big action movies.
     
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  8. Arrogant Arachnid

    Arrogant Arachnid perma pissed off edgelord

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    There's also the fact that most of the designs are pretty much walking junkyards with a fuckload of small parts and overly detailed. Simplifying the designs would make it much easier and would get rid of a common complaint with the movie
    They pretty much just shot themselves in the foot with the way they handled CGI
     
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  9. Jochimus

    Jochimus Sandwiches? Blimey, whatever did I give the wife?

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    I'd like to believe that if there's an upshot to all that's happened, it's that now they'll have utterly no choice but to go down these roads to keep the franchise alive.

    I'm not holding my breath, though.
     
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  10. Galvatron1998

    Galvatron1998 Maximal

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    I actually think that Hasbro should move away from ensemble films and try to put more focus on a smaller cast of characters. Bumblebee was definitely a step in the right direction and I think they should follow a similar format moving forward. While it doesn't have to be limited to just a single character, I think 3-6 Transformers in a film allows for enough time devoted to each character while still allowing for entertaining action sequences. They should definitely utilize dialogue while the robots are in vehicle mode.
     
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  11. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave The Fox

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    I also like the idea of a slightly smaller cast. I feel like the Transformers brand has sort of got stuck on large ensemble casts because G1 had a big cast (which was mostly to sell all those pre-existing toys). Without that limitation, they could make the cast a bit smaller. Many of the recent cartoons have focused on a team of five or so characters with distinct roles and personalities, and it tends to feel more focused.

    The fact of the matter is that single-character spinoffs are never going to work, logistically. Sure you could tell interesting stories with just about anyone, but Paramount is never going to greenlight "Lockdown's Space Adventures" or "Ratchet: The Medical Drama". They want characters who have high name recognition among the general public. Which really only leaves Optimus and Bumblebee (Megatron and maybe Starscream have enough name recognition...but they likely won't do a villain movie). You just can't really apply the Marvel formula to Transformers. It's neat conceptually, but a big studio would never go for it.

    Making movies about a team of 3 - 6 characters would be good. They could base those movies around ideas more than specific characters (like, a cosmic space movie or a movie set in WW2...stuff like that).
     
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  12. ObakaChanTachi

    ObakaChanTachi Vindication.

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    Yep. Exactly my thoughts too. I appreciate the complexity and intricacy of Bayformers designs but they aren't sustainable at the budget movies are made on. I'd rather have 30 minutes of simpler BB/G1 designs than 5 minutes of intricate Bayformers designs.
     
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  13. Rodimal Rodimus

    Rodimal Rodimus Agent of Unit:E

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    May depend on who the character is.
     
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  14. Revoticus

    Revoticus Big Combaticon fan

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    Make that a TF team(3 to 5) movie.
     
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  15. SpiraPhantom

    SpiraPhantom Decepticon Propagandist

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    While Transformers usually benefit from an ensemble cast, rooted as they are in long animated shows and comics, movies would benefit from something, dare I say, simpler.
    As it was noted by other gentlemechs, "CGI is expensive" and "CGI protagonist is hard" arguments aren't really that effective these days. Paramount quite literally disproved it themselves with their stellar "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie. Cliche'd as it might be, it actually put proper focus on the correct hero and didn't make it a human-focused adaptation to everyone's surprise and delight. To make a Transformer such a character can't be much harder technically, especially if they spend half the time in their vehicle form and don't even need to be animated.
    And, to details. I believe that it's long overdue for a proper Optimus-focused movie. After his Bayverse appearances Optimus is fairly recognizable by a casual moviegoer, however, he's a B-lister of sorts. A step down from DC and Marvel superheroes, the "holy trinity" of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. A step down from the Skywalkers. And anyone who knows what Optimus stands for is well aware that Prime deserves better. Even more so when you consider how, while being the monolith of the franchise, he's rarely treated as a proper character rather than an idea that some struggle to even develop properly.
    We could have Optimus, stranded on Earth or simply searching for other Autobots, pick a disguise and learn of a "younger species". What do you say? It's a simple premise, yet such a complex idea, especially once he's confronted with how much destruction humans may cause - in Bayverse we are actually dangerous to cybertronians and that's a very good idea handled so very poorly. Add in some Megatron to serve as ideological contrarian, perhaps? Some flashbacks, even, back to the golden days of Cybertron, when Optimus was not yet Prime? We could even have some secondary Autobots... as long as they have actual character and not a one-note gimmick and don't steal too much of a spotlight. And voila - a masterpiece.

    I, personally, would love an Optimus Prime movie with Mr. Cullen. (it's also a wasted opportunity that the good sir has yet to make a cameo as Optimus's holoform on the big screen, though he did in the comics)
     
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  16. TheGoldenPenguin

    TheGoldenPenguin In his backyard

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    When will Sky-Byte or Knock out get their own movie?
     
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  17. Fafnir72

    Fafnir72 Well-Known Member

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    Movies are an extention to sell products. If you just focuse on one character, there's no incentive to franchise it. Unless it's a solo character like Spiderman and the like who has an expanded universe that supports the lore.
     
  18. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP My personal sense of scale

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    Well, no, they're a medium to tell a story. And just because the movie would focus on one character doesn't mean no other Transformers would ever show up in it.
     
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  19. Rumblestorm

    Rumblestorm Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention the expensive locations and setpieces they film at, probably as a result of each film having some big apocalyptic level scenario at its core.
     
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  20. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    Haven't you read the Spotlight comics? They're all just the title character sitting alone in a room and monologuing.
     
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