SDCC 2013: Hasbro Tranformers Prime Beast Hunters Panel

San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing! News from the Beast Hunters panel is provided by the Allspark's own lonegamer8! Join your fellow fans for discussion in our thread

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  • Present: Jeff Kline, Duane Capizzi, Dave Hartman, Jerry Jivoin, Mike Vogel
  • Prime is a multiple Emmy award-winning show
  • The intention was always to do three seasons and 65 episodes
  • Kline: Early on they had to move some episodes up by a few months while they got approval to use new characters
  • Hartman: The finale is still being edited; he hasn't had time to reflect on it yet
  • Capizzi: They knew they going going to dive into something deep with the Predacons. They wanted to make sure to give the beasts an "interesting mythology/back story", took some artist licenses, make Earth a "sister planet" to Cybertron, explain why the Preds were on Earth
  • Hartman: "Beast" pulling from some of Earth's mythology. From Beast to Transformer has a lot more freedom but still some complicated transformations. Designing them was like "origami", they sent drawings back and forth with Polygon.
  • Jivion: How has it affected the brand? Fans can see G1 influences in Prime, reimaginations of certain characters like Predaking
  • A teaser clip was shown. Bumblebee TALKS!
  • Kline: Why have Bumblebee talk? Prime was trying to key off from the films, but they knew they wanted to give Bee a voice. It was just a matter of when. Season 2 "still felt too early", they wanted him to "bond with Raf in no way others could", then in season 3 they figured out where to have Bee talk.
  • Jivoin: Stick around for the 30th Anniversary panel & TALKING BEE TOY
  • They made the TF Prime movie to wrap up loose ends–"Predacons Rising" this fall
  • They sometimes browsed the boards, heard that Predaking's awesome.
  • Teaser for Predacons Rising: Magnus & Smokescreen encounter Predacons. LOTS OF ZOMBIE PREDS!
  • Kline: How many people thought they were going to kill Optimus? A few hands.
  • Starscream & Shockwave = sibling rivalry
  • Capizzi: Praised the Hub, about taking them to task, and on "Darkness Rising" opening big. Still have threads they want to wrap up, so "Predacons Rising".
  • Vogel: Wanted to try to tell the ultimate TF tale.
  • Kline: wanted to start over in some ways for those that didn't grow up with the franchise
  • Vogel: Took elements of the best versions and put them together

Q&A Session:

  • Q: Ever bring back Dinobots to the new series?
  • Vogel: Since PRime's wrapping up, no space to put in Dinobots, BUT something they'd love to do at some point.
  • Q: If there was a season 4, would Ironhide had been brought in?
  • A: Maybe!
  • Q: Is Hasbro going to continue the Prime line?
  • A: The Beast Hunters line is planned through the end of year to Spring 2014.
  • Q: Was Prime ALWAYS planned as a 3 season show?
  • A: They always had 3 seasons worth of stories, but they weren't exactly sure if they would get more. The worst thing would be to jam some stuff in and be fine with it.
  • Q: "Predacons Rising" airdate?
  • A: "Soon"
  • Q: On new show with the same team, about "Aligned continuity", so is there a plan for a "blank slate" show or tie-in?
  • A: "Can't confirm or deny."
  • Q: On new series, any talk of going back to 2D route to expand cameo and locales?
  • A: "Can't confirm or deny." Kline: Well aware of CG limitations.
  • Q: Will we ever see anything from the older series like Headmasters or combiners?
  • A: They have a wishlist, like more Wreckers but can't. Wanted to bring in more characters, but still so many stories to tell with the current characters. Capizzi: Seaspray would have been a "badass Quint-like" [Quint from Jaws] character, "Batman-esqe", a badass Wrecker, but they couldn't get him in
  • Q: Was killing Miko a possibility?
  • A: WHAT IS WITH YOU PEOPLE?! They love Miko, and Polygon loves her.
  • Q: Will Hasbro upgrade the toys for "Predacons Rising" or add new ones?
  • A: The US will have toys at Target.
  • Q: The season 1 DVDs have commentary, but season 2 DVDs have nothing. Why?
  • A: Wait for season 3.
  • Q: Biggest challenge production-wise met or not met?
  • A: Story wise, the Wreckers but they had to cut them out. Wanted the 13, but just cut short; had alternative episodes but had to more or less repurpose or put in "Predacons Rising". WAS going to meet Miko's parents in Tokyo.
  • Regarding limitations, makes things feel more organic. Writers thinking in some sense, "how can we repurpose it", change this/that, write towards what they were capable of. Thought Predacon would be difficult, walking model from Polygon was "they pulled it off". Wanted to make a different effect than just fire from mouth.
  • Q: Are Vehicons drones or individuals?
  • A: Bit of both. Tried to suggest that they're clones, but maybe too subtly. Screamer goes into a lab, finds clone protoforms, faceplates similar to the Vehicons, so suggestion on the Vehicons' origins.
  • Q: Knockout? Narcissist and doctor, so how did he wind up with Megatron?
  • A: He's like a Transformers Dexter. The comics will be trying to give backstories that couldn't be given in TV.
  • Q: On Dinobots, why "Slag" to "Slug" in game/book tie-ins.
  • A: "Slag" is a bad UK slang (we know from Animated)
  • Q: Anything animated that Hasbro said no?
  • A: Hasbro allowed them to kill Cliffjumper in pilot. Production standpoint like Native Americans in relation to the buaffalo–try to use everything. Every day there's discussions, jointly solutions that satisfy both sides. Don't want to contradict tie-ins.
  • Q: Anything that would've made to TV but was edited out?
  • A: Mostly self-censorship. Like trim some frames, use "die" a few less times. They're parents as well, so they wanted to be pretty careful. They also needed to meet broadcast standards and wanted to have actual repercussions.
  • Q: Why doesn't the Decepticon space cruiser have a name?
  • A: Didn't think they could use "Nemesis".
  • Q: On re-envisioning of names, why names from G1 and take different personae? like Wheelack & Smokescreen.
  • A: Hasbro supplied Wheeljack, worked in his engineering skills but never envisioned him as G1 scientist. "Reinvent, reinvent". How could they honor the original and seamlessly bring in the fact that they're at war.
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