Just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more robots in disguises on Earth, each Transformers movie brings a couple new players to the table, whether they’re a benevolent Autobot or sinister Deception. One of the new robotic characters in Transformers: The Last Knight will be Hot Rod, who was originally introduced in The Transformers: The Movie. Over three decades after his animated debut, he’s finally participating in the Transformers cinematic universe, and now we have the first image of his live action look.
Color-wise, the new Hot Rod is still rocking the orange, but rather than include the yellows and reds, Transformers: The Last Knight opted to throw in black. Is it cool to call that the Jack O’Lantern color scheme? It’s not? Moving on, along with this exclusive image, EW also provided some details on what to expect from this version of Hot Rod. While the original Hot Rod was given the Matrix of Leadership and succeeded Optimus Prime as the commander of the Autobots (and was subsequently called Rodimus Prime), it’s unlikely that will happen in this continuity.
Instead, Transformers: The Last Knight‘s Hot Rod will be the protector of Laura Haddock’s character Viviane Wembley, an Oxford professor of English literature who Anthony Hopkins‘ Sir Edmond Burton and Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager will come across as they learn about humanity’s history with the Transformers during medieval times, when King Arthur ruled the land. The only thing is, Viviane didn’t know Hot Rod was keeping watch over her, as the Autobot has been disguised all this time as her father’s 1963 Citroen DS. Hence why she’s reacting the way she is in the above image. Haddock explained:
It’s a rickety old thing, but she can’t part with it because she adores it. This car has actually been put there to watch her and feedback information to Anthony Hopkins’s character about what she’s up to and her life. So yeah, she gets kind of taken [by surprise] in a really funny, dramatic way by this Hot Rod.
Laura Haddock also noted that learning about Hot Rod’s secret presence will help Viviane understand her father better and make her realize that he cared more about her than she thought. An actor still hasn’t been hired to voice Hot Rod, although producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says the production are looking for an “overseas star” to take the job, noting how they’re trying to make the cast as “international” as they can. While previously described as brash and arrogant, Hot Rod, like the other Autobots, is determined to protect humanity to the best of his ability.
You can see Hot Rod in action when Transformers: The Last Knight rolls out in theaters on June 23.