Some trailers and info have started to emerge about next summer's Michael Bay over-sensationalized Transformers movie, and while they're often far too vague to really be judged, I'm going to take a stab at it anyway. I was a little aghast at first at the idea of Optimus Prime becoming a longnose cab, but I withdrew some of my loathing and spite when I realized something. We're now staring down the barrel of 20+ years of Transformers evolution. Just look at this:
That doesn't even include the original Generation One iterations, and already there are so many crazy redesigns and configurations there, I don't think the guy has an identity of his own anymore, not to mention that in Transformers canon, he's already died and been resurrected at least twice.
The problem is, the hardest of the hardcore fanbase (like me) are the people who were there from the beginning. However, those people are all grownups and parents and are having mid-life crises by now. So who's going to love this movie? The recent fans are kids, possibly the kids of the original fans who as kids themselves scoffed at Generation Two and the Minicons and all the other stuff that the purists scoff at. If the flick can actually find a happy medium and bridge the gap between the generations of fans without alienating either one, that'd be impressive, but is also a tall task for any writer/director.
Just look at the PlayStation 2 Transformers game in which Prime is a longnose cab. I didn't even bat an eye when I saw that, in part because the rest of the game was so well designed and gorgeous to look at. The character has evolved and that's just what he's become.
Frankly, if they tried to go back and make a movie solely of Generation One characters and designs, they would make a cupful of hardcore TransFans orgasm repeatedly, but no one else would get it. The newer Transformers fans would say "That's not what Prime looks like," or "I thought Megatron was a tank not a piddly Walther handgun with, of all things, a SILENCER on it." This new generation would make the same complaints that we purists from the olden days are making about the new stuff.