Transformers Producer Says Peter Cullen Will Voice Optimus Prime For As Long As He Wants

Optimus Prime Transformers

Peter Cullen is one of the most prolific voice actors in the business, racking up well over 200 film, television and video game credits. But he’s arguably always going to be best known as the voice of Optimus Prime across the majority of Transformers media, and it’s long since gotten to a stage where it’s strange to hear the leader of the Autobots speaking in a voice that isn’t Cullen’s.

The 79-year-old has lent his vocal talents to a huge number of characters including Winnie the Pooh‘s Eeyore, the titular primate in the 1976 King Kong remake, the camouflaged alien antagonist in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action classic Predator, and countless beloved TV shows like The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tom & Jerry and countless more. But Optimus Prime is always going to be his career-defining role.

At the event to celebrate the first official title, plot and character details surrounding next year’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, longtime franchise producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura confirmed that Cullen will continue to be employed as the iconic Cybertronian for as long as he wants, and the only way he’ll be replaced is when he decides that he doesn’t want to do it anymore.

“Peter Cullen brought this character to life with his amazing voice back in 1984. Is he returning? Absolutely. There’s, there’s no discussion without him really, you know, unless he didn’t want it. That would be the only way he would not be in here. I know Optimus is near and dear to him. Steven and I are going to be talking soon about some of the stuff that he’s interested in bringing to the table and, and vice versa. And so, yeah, he’s on board.”

Rise of the Beasts will take Cullen up to seven live-action and one animated thematical outings as Optimus Prime, in addition to seven Transformers shows and eleven video games, so nobody knows the gigantic alien robot better than he does. It’s a distinct blend of warmth and gravitas that he brings to the part, something that’s made his voice instantly recognizable, even if there’s a huge number of fans that don’t have a clue what he looks like.