Spoilers! What the 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' ending reveals about a crossover movie

Spoiler alert! This story discusses a key reveal at the end of "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" (in theaters now), so beware if you haven’t seen it.

After battling to save the world with Autobots and Maximals in "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts," job-hunting Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) suddenly has a killer resume.

The dust hasn't even settled after the final "Beasts" battle when a pre-credits scene is introduced in which former Army private Diaz is interviewing for a security position with a potential employer (Michael Kelly) − who is unnervingly aware of Diaz's secret relationship with warrior Autobot Mirage (voiced by Pete Davidson) and Diaz's heroics defeating the villainous Unicron in Peru.

The employer asks Diaz to join his secret government organization, handing over a business card that says "G.I. Joe."

The Hasbro toy lines have seen crossovers in animated series and comic books in the past. But does this mean a fan-anticipated crossover movie between "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers" is in the works?


"It's insane, bro. I was actually freaking out when I heard about the idea," Ramos tells USA TODAY. "I was like, 'If y'all can pull that off!' And they did. And it's happening."

Here's your classified briefing on the situation:

The 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' ending was super top secret

Is Noah Diaz (Anthony Ramos) joining up with G.I. Joe?

"Rise of the Beasts" director Steven Caple Jr. says the "G.I. Joe" reveal was so classified, he left the scene out of the movie for early test screenings.

"We were showing people a whole different ending that wasn't 'G.I. Joe' at all," says Caple, who brought "Joe" into the script two-and-a-half years ago.

He was especially excited about the tech-heavy "Joe" franchise, which has incorporated devices such as the exoskeleton Accelerator Suit that would blend in seamlessly with the "Transformers" world. "There's a lot to work with in diving deep into these franchises," says Caple.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who produces both the "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" film series, says he has long been looking for a way to bring the worlds together. "Rise of the Beasts" provided an open door.

"We constructed a story where the lead character's emotional journey involves not getting a break getting a job," he says. "So the greatest payoff ever would be that he's offered a job with G.I. Joe."

Caple says the various powers overseeing the franchises − Paramount Studios, Hasbro, "Transformers" producer Steven Spielberg and more − all had to sign off.

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What does a 'Transformers,' 'G.I. Joe' crossover look like?

The "Transformers" universe already has many characters: Optimus Prime, center, with Maximals, Autobots and humans in "Transformers: Rise of the Universe."

"Now that we've done this to ourselves, we have to figure out how to do it exactly," says di Bonaventura, adding that it's too early for specifics beyond the bold direction that's in development.

The key thing will be avoiding bringing too many characters and stories into already-crowded universes, which now include the Maximals in "Transformers."

"We can't tell both stories, we won't be able to do any of them well," says di Bonaventura.

The three "G.I. Joe" movies have not come close to capturing the fan success of "Transformers," the last being the 2021 box-office disappointment "Snake Eyes." So it's no surprise that di Bonaventura envisions injecting the "Joe" franchise into the road-tested "Transformers" initially.

"We're going to bring some Joes into our world," he says. "So the next group of characters will include Autobots, Maximals and Joes. I hesitate to say plan, but I think that's exactly what will happen. Then you get to know the 'Joe' characters and we have options moving forward."

As to how many Joes and which franchise stars, it's too soon to say. Dwayne Johnson, Henry Golding and Channing Tatum have all starred in past incarnations, with Tatum making it clear he's not a "G.I. Joe" franchise fan.

Timing would be Paramount's call.

"But we're probably shooting for 2025," says di Bonaventura, noting that it depends on the Hollywood writers' strike. "We don't have the script, we don't have a writer. We need both."

Contributing: Brian Truitt

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