Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' ending sets the stage for a major crossover with another franchise in the near future.
Warning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.
At the end of the movie, Noah (Anthony Ramos) meets Michael Kelly's mysterious character, Agent Burke, in a job interview for a security role. However, this wasn't any old interview, as Burke informs him that he knows that Noah and his "friends" (the Transformers) saved the world from Unicron.
The secret agent then gives his business card to Noah, noting that he is part of a top-secret organization that protects the world from global threats. When Noah flips the card after entering the secret base, the G.I. Joe logo becomes unveiled.
Transformers & GI Joe’s Crossover History Explained
Plans for a Hasbro cinematic universe started even before the first Transformers movie.
In 2003, producer Don Murphy was interested in a G.I. Joe film adaptation, but the war between the United States and Iraq in March prevented that plan from coming to fruition. As a result, Hasbro suggested developing Transformers instead.
Fast forward to March 2013 during the release of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura announced Paramount's plans to develop a G.I. Joe and Transformers crossover. In July 2013, G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon Chu even expressed interest, via Collider, in directing the crossover "as long as the reality of their worlds matches."
However, in June 2014, Lorenzo di Bonaventura backtracked his comments by telling Slash Film that a crossover was not in the immediate plans of the studio.
In April 2016, via The Hollywood Reporter, Hasbro made a deal with Paramount Pictures to develop a shared universe based on five of their properties (G.I. Joe, Micronauts, Rom, M.A.S.K, and Visionaries) which then led to them assembling a writer's room that featured many in-demand talents.
Despite that bold attempt, Transformers and G.I. Joe producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Entertainment Weekly in May 2021, via ScreenRant, that the planned writer's room "didn't generate much" for them, noting that Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins (the new G.I. Joe film) didn't even come from it:
"Really didn't generate much for us...My opinion of that room was that never really worked very well unfortunately. It was a good idea."
Speaking with Uproxx in July 2021, di Bonaventura set the record straight about potential crossover hopes between the two franchises, noting that "the studio [Paramount] has always been against that."
Still, the producer said that he thinks that the crossover is "inevitable:"
"You know, the truth of matter is, the studio has always been against that. Every regime that’s been at Paramount is against it because it’s taking two franchises and making them one, but I think it’s inevitable."
True enough, Rise of the Beasts proved that the inevitable crossover will indeed happen.
What’s Next for Transformers & G.I. Joe?
Aside from the fact that Transformers: Rise of the Beasts confirmed the G.I. Joe's arrival, it is unknown how the two franchises will fit in the planned shared universe.
Based on the movie's ending, it's clear that Anthony Ramos' Noah Diaz will serve as the mediator between the two groups. It's possible that Noah will learn more about the Joes first before eventually telling Optimus Prime about a potential partnership.
The Autobots have fought against and alongside the G.I. Joes in crossover comics, so a subsequent movie could follow a similar path to Godzilla vs. Kong where the two groups face off against each other before teaming up against the Decepticons.
Given that 2021's Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins was negatively received by fans and critics and underperformed at the box office, there's a strong chance that the new batch of soldiers who will show up in the crossover movie is an entirely new set of actors.
Alternatively, Paramount Pictures could dip into the archives and pluck out former G.I. Joe stars like Channing Tatum or Dwayne Johnson to return for a follow-up film. With his Black Adam plans dashed, The Rock may be willing to add another action franchise to his belt following his Fast & Furious return.
In February 2022, Paramount announced that Rise of the Beasts is the first of three new Transformers installments. It remains to be seen if the sequel will push G.I. Joe to the forefront or if a solo film featuring the elite soldiers will be launched first before the crossover.
Hopefully, Paramount will clear the air in the coming months in order to build the hype for the highly-anticipated live-action crossover between the two famous franchises.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is now playing in theaters worldwide.