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‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ bringing a familiar Autobot to live-action franchise

transformers the last knight hot rod 1986
Anyone who has a soft spot for the 1986 animated film The Transformers: The Movie will either be very happy or very annoyed with the latest addition to the cast of the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight.

Paramount Pictures has released the first look at Hot Rod, one of the newcomers to the the studio’s live-action Transformers franchise, but a well-known character to longtime fans. The Autobot will make his debut in the 2017 film, and is described as Bumblbee’s “brother-in-arms” in the image.

The first look at Hot Rod was provided on Twitter, via the official account for the Transformers universe.

Hot Rod: This is no cartoon. #transformers

— #TRANSFORMERS (@transformers) August 4, 2016

Transformers fans were first introduced to Hot Rod in the 1986 animated feature, which was intended to establish the next generation of characters in the Transformers universe. Voiced by Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club) in the film, Hot Rod is a brash, young Autobot who eventually inherits the Matrix of Leadership from Optimus Prime and becomes one of the group’s greatest leaders. His name was later changed to “Rodimus Prime” to reflect this evolution.

The decision to replace Optimus Prime with this new, unfamiliar character prompted quite a bit of controversy when it happened (and is still the subject of debate among hardcore fans), but Hot Rod grew to become a fan-favorite character over time.

There’s no word on what sort of role Hot Rod will play in The Last Knight, or who will voice the character for the film.

So far, the robot cast of The Last Knight is also confirmed to include returning Autobot characters Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Drift, as well as Megatron and Barricade for the Decepticons. Newcomers include Hot Rod (who likely turns into a sports car of some sort) and Sqweeks (who turns into a Vespa) for the Autobots, and Onslaught (a green tow truck) for the Decepticons.

Michael Bay will once again direct the Transformers sequel, with Mark Wahlberg reprising his Transformers: Age of Extinction role as Cade Yeager. Also in the cast are Josh Duhamel as Lt. Col. Lennox, and Tyrese Gibson as Robert Epps. Newcomers include Isabela Moner (100 Things to Do Before High School, Growing Up Fisher) as Izabella, the film’s female lead, as well as Jerrod Carmichael, Laura Haddock, and Santiago Cabrera. Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, Thor) will also play a still-unidentified role in the film.

Transformers: The Last Knight is scheduled to hit theaters June 23, 2017.

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