For most of its runtime, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts functions like a fairly standalone film. Not only does the movie occasionally rely on its viewers’ willingness to forget about the events of some of the Transformers franchise’s previous entries, but it also focuses primarily on a number of new human and Autobot characters. In that way, despite featuring a bigger cast of robotic warriors, Rise of the Beasts often feels more like 2018’s Bumblebee than it does many of the other Transformers films that have been released over the years.
That said, the film more or less throws out its standalone quality in its closing minutes, which place Rise of the Beasts’ primary hero, Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos), at the very center of a potential crossover between two of Paramount Pictures’ biggest Hasbro-owned franchises.
Warning! Major Transformers: Rise of the Beasts spoilers ahead.
Noah Diaz spends most of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts working with the film’s Autobots and Maximals to prevent Unicron, a planet-devouring entity of immeasurable power, from coming to Earth. In the end, he, Elena Wallace (Dominique Fishback), and their robotic friends succeed. Despite the instrumental role he ultimately plays in preventing the end of the world, though, Rise of the Beasts’ epilogue sees Noah jump straight back into the job hunt he’d been on before he met Optimus Prime and his Autobots.
At first, it seems like Noah’s heroic efforts went completely unnoticed. But when he arrives for a job interview at the end of the film, he’s surprised to discover that his potential employer, Agent Burke (House of Cards star Michael Kelly), knows all about what Noah, Elena, the Autobots, and the Maximals did in the film’s Peru-set climax. Burke predictably doesn’t get much information out of Noah about his adventures, but he nonetheless tells the former soldier that his younger brother’s hospital bills have and will continue to be taken care of by the secret organization he works for, as a kind of thanks for everything Noah did to save Earth.
Before he leaves, Burke gives Noah a business card and tells him that his organization would be happy to employ a man like him. He then opens a secret wall in his office and gives Noah a chance to read the name on his business card: G.I. Joe.
A New Crossover
Obviously, the implication of Rise of the Beasts’ final scene is that the film will be followed up at some point by a live-action crossover between Hasbro’s Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises. That’s noteworthy for a few reasons. For starters, despite how much money and time Paramount Pictures and Hasbro have invested into both franchises, the two companies have never so much as hinted at a big-screen Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover until now. That means that any future crossover between the two franchises will mark the first time that they’ve ever overlapped on-screen.
If this potential crossover ends up coming to fruition, Rise of the Beasts’ ending certainly suggests that Anthony Ramos’ Noah will have a role of some kind in it. It’s not, however, clear who else could show up in the project, or how much it will incorporate some of the other characters and established plot elements of the existing G.I. Joe and Transformers films. For now, all that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has really told moviegoers is that a crossover is in the works.
We’ll have to wait to see when and if said project ever gets made.
Notably, while the ending of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts does set up the first live-action Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover in history, the franchises have crossed over previously. The two properties have, in fact, actually been at the center of a few different comic book crossovers over the years, including in a four-issue limited series titled G.I. Joe and the Transformers, which was published by Marvel in 1987. That comic book run saw G.I. Joe and the Autobots team up to try to stop the Decepticons and Cobra from destroying the world.
There’s no telling whether Paramount’s planned Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover will focus on a similar story, but it seems safe to say that there are plenty of ways in which the franchises’ various characters and teams could interact on-screen. As a matter of fact, it’s a little bit surprising that it’s even taken this long for Paramount and Hasbro to start putting this potential crossover together.