'Transformers 4': Peter Cullen responds to the Optimus Prime redesign
Optimus Prime has got a whole new look in Michael Bay's upcoming "Transformers 4." A sleek new design for Optimus' classic truck was unveiled back in May, heralding a new generation of Autobots on the big screen.
Peter Cullen, the voice behind Optimus Prime, walked the Transformers: The Ride 3D grand opening red carpet in Universal Orlando to promote his continued involvement in the "Transformers" franchise. He'll once again be voicing the Autobot leader in "Transformers 4," and shared his thoughts about Optimus Prime's new look.
"I'm always fascinated by the design changes because what could be more realistic than something that transforms and can change itself," Cullen told Zap2it. "And cars change every year. They come off the design tables and the clay models and before you know it you've got a brand new look to a car. I like it that way. I'm excited to find out what Mr. Bay is going to do for the next look. After all, he's always going to look like that [the Optimus Prime statue on Transformers: The Ride 3D]. He's always going to transform into something pretty close to that."
Also walking the red carpet was Frank Welker, the longtime voice of Megatron. Bay opted to have Hugo Weaving play the voice the Decepticon big bad in the first three "Transformers" movies, but after Weaving's much-publicized slam against the franchise, it seems unlikely he'll return in "Transformers 4." Welker, meanwhile, voiced Decepticons like Devastator, Soundwave and Barricade in the "Transformers" movies, and still isn't sure if he'll be back and taking over Megatron duties in Bay's latest installment of the franchise.
"Yet to be determined," Welker admitted. "I'm not sure. I did the last two. I'm waiting to see and usually I don't know until the very end, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what Michael does. He always outdoes himself, so he's got big shoes to feel when he's got to fill his own shoes. It will be a lot of fun to see what he comes up with."
Regardless of their futures with the "Transformers" franchise, both Cullen and Welker are immortalized as Optimus and Megatron thanks to lending their voices to the countless "Transformers" movies, video games, animated series and now theme park rides that have been released. Cullen said that is what moves him most about his connection with the beloved series.
"Being a part of it, that's what is the phenomenon now," he said. "We go back and our involvement has transcended all these generations: child to father and child to now the theme parks, from Singapore to Los Angeles to now Orlando. The phenomenon of 'Transformers' itself is mind shaking. Being a part of it is not only historical, it's a part of your life that says, 'Gee, I'm glad. I did something in my life that stood out,' and I'm really grateful for that. Humbled by it."
Transformers: The Ride 3D officially opened in Universal Orlando on June 20. "Transformers 4" is slated for a June 27, 2014 release date.