'Sons of Anarchy' Star Ron Perlman Voicing Major 'Transformers' Character in 'Rise of the Beasts' Movie

Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman was cast as Optimus Primal in the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts movie. This is the latest live-action movie in the Transformers franchise and is inspired by the original Beast Wars: Transformers series. Perlman, who played Clay Morrow on Sons of Anarchy, previously voiced Optimus Primal in the 2018 web series Transformers: Power of the Primes.

Rise of the Beasts is set in the 1990s and will bring the Maximals, Predacons, and Terrorcons to the battle between Autobots and Decepticons on Earth. The live-action cast includes Anthony Ramos (In The Heights) and Dominque Fishback (Judas and the Black Messiah), reports Collider, which first reported Perlman's casting. Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II) is directing with a script by Darnell Matayer and Josh Peters, from a previous draft by Joby Harold (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword).

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Optimus Primal is the leader of the Maximals. The character was voiced by Garry Chalk in the original Beast Wars: Transformers (1996-1999). Optimus Primal is the captain of the ship Axalon. The ship's computer suggested his beast mode should be a bat, but Optimus Primal chose a gorilla instead. He also has a rivalry with Pradacons leader Megatron. Peter Cullen is still set to voice Optimus Prime in Rise of the Beasts, and the movie's plot will reveal the connection the Cybertonian has to humans and earth.

Although Michael Bay is not directing Rise of the Beasts, he is still involved as a producer under his Bay Films banner with Tom DeSando and Don Murphy. Other producers on the project include Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, and Duncan Henderson. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg; Hasbro's Brian Goldner; Skydance's David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger; and Brian Oliver, Bradley J. Fischer, and Valerii An of New Republic Pictures.

Rise of the Beasts is scheduled to hit theaters on June 24, 2022. It will be the first film in the Transformers franchise since Bumblebee hit theaters in December 2018. Bay directed the first five movies in the franchise. Transformers began as a toy line in 1984, produced by Hasbro in the U.S. and Takara Tomy in Japan. In addition to movies, the franchise has included several animated shows, comic book lines, and, of course, many, many toy lines.


Perlman is a two-time Emmy nominee for his work on Beauty and the Beast. He has lent his distinctive voice to dozens of animated shows and movies over the past four decades, including The Book of Life, Tangled, Teen Titans, and Archer. This year, he collaborated with Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro on a stop-motion animated retelling of Pinocchio that will be released on Netflix.