WonderCon 2019 Transformers: Cyberverse Panel concluded mere minutes ago and our very own news staff member AzT attended the event to bring you the details.
Panelists: Mae Catt, Dan Salgarolo, Gavin Hignight, Zac Atkinson, Randolph Heard, Mikiel Houser, Jeremy Levy
Mod: Jack Convey
Some of the notable highlights:
- Transformers: Cyberverse is a multiversal show.
- Constructicons hinted for Season 2.
- How Cheetor came to be on the show.
- Many more tidbits on Season 2.
- Behind-the-scenes details from Transformers: Cyberverse.
You can read the full description of the panel, after the jump and check out the images attached to this news post as well.
The first question asked by the Mod was regarding how the Cyberverse stories come together. Houser stated that the show will reintroduce the brand. Heard added that they want to explore the characters, what they can do and how to expand the universe. Most importantly to fit the story into the 11-minute format. They are trying to show moments of TF history that we’ve never seen or discussed before.
Hignight: This team of writers became the Hivemind.
Catt: 90s is my angle. Beast Wars is my reference point.
Other writers use G1 as reference.
Heard: How do we capture new and old fans? We even looked up a list of top ten weirdest Transformers to get on the show, Rack’n’Ruin is one of them. Might see more of Rack’n’Ruin in Season Two.
Levy hinted that we’ll see Constructicons.
Mod asked about other references and Easter Eggs on Season 1.
Atkinson: They hang out at Maccadam’s, their version of Cheers. Happy with that episode.
Heard: Hasbro asked us to add more (and interesting) female characters.
Catt: Like people? (LOL)
Houser: Randolph wanted to humanize these characters, that really drew him into it.
Hignight: Heroes and Villains that are not black and white.
Mod: How do you do the voice of Bumblebee? In the scripts, each line references a different TV show, is it written that way?
Levy: Yes. References like PBS documentary voice, sometimes broken up word by word having different reference points; 80s’ action hero voice, 50s’ detective voice, marketing jingle etc.
Houser stated that Season 2 will drive the narrative forward. It’ll tell stories we’ve not seen before. There will be some nice surprises. The show itself will transform.
Mod: Windblade, blank canvas character, less well known, what drive you in creating her backstory?
Heard: Make her real.
Highnight: Tough as nails in a fight.
When asked about favorite characters from the show, Salgarolo stated Wheeljack (for his infectious enthusiasm) and Shockwave. Catt stated Starscream, but she refrained herself from mentioning couple of characters from Season 2. Atkinson stated Teletraan X (he’s weird, spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is a lone computer like as a character). Hignight replied with a firm Optimus Prime. He also added “At one point in my life, I got to write a script that actually said ‘Transform and Roll Out’. Bumblebee-Optimus dialogue was the most fun to write. Our Megatron is fantastic, complex, a hero for part of our season. It’s a fun job to get to do that stuff.”
Mod: [Favorite character] for Jeremy, since you’ve voiced so many?
Levy: Grimlock, because he’s hilarious. Not written to go for the laugh. His “You’re welcome” line in Shadow Striker was hilarious. Delivers it straight.
Hignight: Trivia time. When developing Grimlock, Heard’s inspiration instruction was Montoya from Princess Bride. He’s a gentleman bot + Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Heard hinted that we’ll see an obscure little character in Season 2.
Mod: Toys came first, marketing came second originally. The toys dictated a storyline while in this case, what is the relationship between toy and character design?
Houser: Very collaborative, we don’t feel like anything was forced down our throats from toy design. Mutual work. Hasbro even OK’d a few Heard suggestions (won’t see until later).
Catt: Always nice when we’re all nerds.
Levy: Our writers room says ‘Cybertron’ on their door. Catt always read Starscream.
Mod: How long do you have to put together a season?
Houser: No set timeline; 4 scripts and 10 outlines cranked out in 8 weeks for Season One.
Hignight: It was like TF bootcamp
Mod: Limitations and opportunities of an 11 minute show?
Heard: Things like “Do we really need this included?”
Atkinson: Cramming half hour arc into 11 minutes.
Catt: Such a quick education to learn how to write in 11 minutes vs feature writing.
Mod: Do any of you have a character / story hill to die on that you’re still fighting to see on the show?
Hignight: Cool stuff coming in S2.
Heard: (to writers) Tell me who you love in TF and why you love that character to eventually get them in the show.
Mod asked what’s their favorite Transformers show/universe is.
- Atkinson = Rescue Bots.
- Salgarolo = Robots In Disguise 2015 and Transformers: Prime (his shows).
- Hignight = G1, especially Transformers: The Movie.
- Levy = Innocence of G1, pluckiness of Animated and RID (2015) too.
- Houser = Transformers: Prime.
- Catt = IDW
- Heard = Strong IP with 35 years of fandom; “is this actually a job!?”
Heard loves Cheetor. Had to get him in the show.
Houser: Brand team needed convincing to put a Beast Wars character into Cyberverse.
Heard: Super intense. Can’t say much more.
Levy: I read these episodes like a fan. like in Never-Ending Story. Can’t wait to see what’s next. Thrilling. Great.
It’s Q&A Time from the audience.
Question: Why moved to Boulder Media in New York?
Answer: Jeremy lives there. (laughs)
Question: How did you all do that without minding how the fandom would react?
Answer: (by Catt) Write it in a way that only you can do it, infuse something new by being true and honest to yourself and don’t worry about how people will respond to it.
Question: Animated, Beast Wars so far. Any other TF eras in upcoming references?
Answer: (by Hignight) Multiversal series.
Answer: (by Houser) Worked with the brand team to preserve continuity plus what this writers team wants to do.
Mod: Anything else we can look forward to in S2?
Hignight: Two characters get spark armor and fight.
Heard: Some fun, some tragic, stay tuned!
The panelists also stated that TFW2005 is an important resource to them. Yep, they see your feedback regarding each episode, it seems.