Transformers: Rise of the Beasts was already an epic crossover movie event with the crossover of characters from the ’90s Transformers: Beast Wars toy line and the live-action introduction of Unicron from 1986’s Transformers: The Movie.
What iconic organization appears at the end of Rise of the Beasts?
The biggest shock of the sequel, however, was the reveal that the Robots in Disguise share the same universe as the Real American Heroes themselves, G.I. Joe, which sets up a crossover movie.
In Rise of the Beasts’ final moments, Brooklyn tech expert Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) returns home to his family after helping the Autobots and the Maximals stop the Terricons from unleashing Unicron from devouring Earth. Diaz arrives at a long-awaited job interview where he meets Burke (Michael Kelly) the head of an unnamed security agency. Little does Diaz know that Burke is well aware of his adventure with the Transformers in Peru and offers him an opportunity to join his secret group for an unknown war. While Diaz does not give a straight answer, he’s surprised to see the room open up to what appears to be “The Pit” base as seen in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and he quickly flips Burke’s business card, revealing the Joe’s logo on the back.
Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, also a producer on the G.I. Joe film franchise, explained how the long-awaited crossover was pulled off.
“So the idea of a crossover, I’m not sure I understand even the terminology in the sense that, it doesn’t suddenly become the two worlds together,” di Bonaventura explained to Collider. “You’re gonna make a decision about what the story is. What we will have is a character, or three, or whatever. So there will be Joe characters, but it is fusing into the Transformers world for this next movie. […] Imagine – this is not accurate, but imagine you were doing a dirty dozen, suddenly three of them would be Joe. So, we’re introducing Joe elements into this, and eventually, that can grow into a lot of different directions, right?”
Previous G.I. Joe movies Rise of Cobra (2009), Retaliation (2013), and Snake-Eyes (2021) were treated as stand-alone storylines away from the Transformers universe. In 2015, di Bonaventura and Hasbro announced plans for a shared cinematic universe featuring the Joes, M.A.S.K., Visionaries, Micronauts, and ROM: Space Knight. Despite gathering a writers’ room for the shared universe concept, di Bonaventura confirmed in 2021 that the plan was scrapped altogether. Additionally, a G.I. Joe spinoff series featuring Lady Jaye was planned for Amazon in 2021, which was also later scrapped.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is now playing in theaters.