Transformers director Steven Caple Jr says Singapore world premiere will be a ‘nerve-racking’ experience for him
For American film director Steven Caple Jr, coming to Singapore will mark two firsts.
It will be his first visit to the Republic, and also the first time he will be watching the science-fiction action movie Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts with those who love the characters.
The prequel will hold its world premiere at Marina Bay Sands on May 27, two weeks ahead of its Singapore theatrical release on June 8.
The waterfront near the ArtScience Museum will be lit up in a pyrotechnic and projection mapping display as Caple and actors Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback and Tobe Nwigwe hit the red carpet.
Also appearing is Mirage, the latest Autobot to make its Asian debut following the launch of the Optimus Prime and Optimus Primal statues at Gardens by the Bay. The 4.5m life-size Mirage statue will be in Singapore for only three days, from May 26 to 28, at the entrance of the ArtScience Museum.
Tickets to the premiere’s red carpet and screening will be offered to winners of a fan art contest, which ends on Sunday. For details, go to the event’s Facebook page.
Alternatively, fans and members of the public can participate in the premiere festivities from 6 to 8pm outside the ArtScience Museum. For more information on public access, go to www.marinabaysands.com/RiseofTheBeasts.
The Transformers film series (2007 to present) has to date cleared US$4.8 billion (S$6.5 billion) at the global box office, so Caple, a newcomer to the brand, is understandably under some pressure.
“I’m really excited. I’m a little nervous, because I just finished the movie, like, two days ago. So everyone will be seeing it fresh, hot off the press, and you guys are the first people to actually check out the movie. So it’s a little nerve-racking,” says the 35-year-old, who helmed the 2018 boxing drama Creed II starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.
Speaking to The Straits Times in an online interview last Saturday, Caple says he has seen Rise Of The Beasts only with studio executives and representatives from American toy company Hasbro, which co-created the Transformers media franchise with Japanese toy company Takara Tomy.
Watching it in Singapore will add the perspective of the people who matter most – the fans. “I hope everyone who watches it gives it five out of five stars,” he says.
The first five movies in the franchise based on the toys and animation television series – Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011), Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014) and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) – were directed by action movie veteran Michael Bay.
In 2018, the standalone spin-off movie Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight, was released.
Besides introducing the Beast Wars storyline, first seen in a 1990s animation series, the seventh movie boasts other fresh elements, says Caple.
Bumblebee set the story in the 1980s while Rise Of The Beasts is set in the 1990s. The film’s leading human characters Noah (Ramos) and Elena (Fishback) will have their own ways of handling their first encounters with the shape-changing sentient machines from another planet, says Caple.
He says he likes that his film deviates from the rapid strangers-to-best-friends dynamic between the humans and Autobots that dominated the previous projects.
“I just felt like we’ve seen that too many times. And so for me, the new human interaction would be: What if we don’t trust the aliens? What if we have to really earn this relationship?” he says.
Noah and Elena themselves are embroiled in a conflict involving factions of the Transformers race, including the Maximals, Predacons and Terrorcons.
Likewise, several of the Transformers – including Autobots leader Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) – will also have their first encounters with humans.
“And then it goes the same for the robots. What if Optimus Prime doesn’t love humans yet, what if he doesn’t understand earth and humans yet? Will they ever work together? Will they ever like one another?” says Caple.
Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts opens in cinemas on June 8.
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