Whether or not they get turned into ridiculous racial stereotypes remains to be seen.
It’s a bit weird that this announcement would come so late however it is just a voice job, they could have been called in to replace someone else and just done all their dialogue, been handed a big bag of cash, and then left. It’s also entirely possible that they finished their recording ages ago.
What will really be interesting is whether we’ll even be able to tell it’s them. Hugo Weaving’s voice as Megatron was processed so much as to basically be unrecognizable.
Also, Watanabe has a Japanese accent so I immediately have worries that his transformer is some kind of ridiculous offensive Japanese stereotype. But Michael Bay wouldn’t make that same mistake twice, right? Right? Right.
More interestingly the press release (below) makes mention that Frank Welker is playing Galvatron. Rumour has it they are going a different direction with the character (Human built!) but his appearance could mean that the giant space ships are bays interpretation of Unicron. Maybe.
I guess we’ll have to wait until 27th June to find out.
Here’s the full press release from MichaelBay.com
HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 8, 2014) – Director Michael Bay has tapped John Goodman and Ken Watanabe to voice two all new Autobots in his highly anticipated film “TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION,” the fourth film in the global blockbuster franchise from Paramount Pictures.
Goodman and Watanabe will join legendary voice actors Peter Cullen and Frank Welker.
Goodman will play Autobot Hound, Watanabe will play Drift, while Cullen reprises his role as the voice of Optimus Prime, and Welker takes on another new character, Galvatron.
“I am pleased to welcome two gifted and versatile actors, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe, to the world of Transformers,” said Bay. “And to reteam with Peter and Frank, who have brought Transformers characters alive from the beginning. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best voice talent in the business, and together we will introduce several exciting new robots to fans of the franchise around the world.”
Rounding out the voice-over cast are actors John DiMaggio, Mark Ryan, Robert Foxworth and Reno Wilson. DiMaggio and Ryan will take on the new characters Crosshairs and Lockdown respectively, while Foxworth reprises the role of Ratchet and Wilson returns as Brains.