Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is set to introduce a fan-favorite Maximal character in its upcoming live-action film. In addition to familiar faces such as Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, and Airazor, the movie will feature a fifth Maximal by the name of Apelinq. The inclusion of Apelinq is a deep cut that speaks to the expertise of the filmmakers when it comes to the Transformers lore.
Apelinq was first introduced as a black, red, and green redeco of the Transmetal Optimus Primal toy at BotCon 2000, where only 1,200 copies of the figure were produced. In his original iteration, Apelinq was part of the legendary do-or-die strike team known as the Wreckers, and he had a particular talent for scientific research and engineering. One of his most impressive inventions was the Transfer Interlink, which could be used to manifest digital objects into reality.
Despite being a less familiar face in the Transformers universe, Apelinq’s story was chronicled across multiple toys and convention fiction, making him a beloved character among long-time fans of the franchise. The live-action adaptation of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts appears to merge Apelinq’s different storylines into one, and he is voiced by David Sobolov, who played Rhinox and Battletrap in the film.
While Apelinq’s on-screen appearance sticks to the original gorilla-like design, the character has a distinct look compared to Optimus Primal, thanks to his white mohawk, metal tusks, and formidable blade appendages. The character also passes on the mantle of Maximal leadership to Optimus Primal so that he can stall their arch-nemesis Scourge and save his fellow Maximals.
Overall, Apelinq’s inclusion in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is no doubt a welcome surprise for long-time fans of the franchise, and it shows that the filmmakers are committed to bringing some of the more obscure but beloved characters from the Transformers lore to life on the big screen.