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What Could Have Been / Transformers: Animated

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  • The show's original working title was "Transformers Heroes".
  • Hot Shot and Red Alert were meant to be part of the main cast, but were replaced by Bumblebee and Ratchet to better line up with the main cast of the 2007 movie.
  • Optimus's rival was originally going to be Rodimus Prime, but Hasbro objected to the idea of Rodimus being portrayed as a massive jerk, so the character was renamed based on a mention of an older Prime from the Marvel comic.
  • Like with the 2007 movie, the original name for the AllSpark was "The Cube". With this name change evidently came a design change as well, since the AllSpark in the final series has a spherical shape.
  • Blitzwing was originally conceived as a Joker-inspired character that could change into anything, but had been driven insane by his constant shape-changing. Since they couldn't make a toy from that, they tried the Animated version of Sixshot, but Hasbro told them a six-changer was too expensive. Then they decided to make a triple-changer with a changing face and split personality, leading to the creation of Blitzwing.
    • Blitzwing also originally had an American accent, but Bumper Robinson improvised a German accent late into production after deciding the name sounded German. The character's design was also hastily changed to accommodate, giving him a World War II-era flight helmet.
  • The Decepticons as a whole were originally going to have a more grotesque, "stitched-together" aesthetic, described as reminiscent of Sid's toys from Toy Story, to show the results of them living in exile far from Cybertron for so long. For whatever reason note , this element was discarded.
  • Dropped subplots include Ratchet being suspicious of Earth's recent technological jump under Sumdac's robotics, and Lugnut's fervent praise for Megatron convincing elements of humanity to side with the Decepticons over the Autobots.
  • Rather than having Prometheus Black transform into Meltdown, the character was originally concieved as a Maker of Monsters who would use his bio-tech to create the other supervillains. Colossus Rhodes, Nanotech, and Stilettonote  would all have been his creations.
  • Several villains were scrapped. They included Lazarus Undershaft, a crime boss whose criminal empire included ninjas. Another was the Wrecking Crew, a bunch of rednecks in hi-tech wrecking vehicles who wanted vengeance against robots for stealing their jobs. The Wraith, the Glory Hound superhero who appeared in "The Arrival" tie-in comic, was originally meant to be on the show itself as a reoccurring antagonist who kept trying to upstage the Autobots.
  • Starscream was apparently supposed to have a fairly quiet voice, as Marty Isenberg really disliked the screechy voice G1 Starscream had. However, after advice from Derrick J. Wyatt and hearing Tom Kenny's performance he decided to compromise with a voice that was high and a bit whiny, but not outright shrill.
  • Voice actors:
    • David Kaye auditioned to reprise the role of Megatron from Beast Wars and the Unicron Trilogy. The part went to Corey Burton instead, while Kaye was cast as Optimus.
    • According to Wyatt, they kicked around the idea of having Peter Cullen appear as a guest, playing a John Wayne-esque human that gives Optimus inspiration about good leadership qualities.
    • Michael Bell, who voiced Prowl and Swoop in The Transformers, auditioned to reprise the roles for this show.
    • The Animated producers were hoping to get Eric Idle to reprise his role as Wreck-Gar from the 1986 movie, but he was too busy with Spamalot, so they ended up getting "Weird Al" Yankovic instead. Though the final Wreck-Gar owes a lot more in appearance and mannerisms to Weird Al than Idle, his debut episode still contains a few ideas that were formed back when they were trying for Eric Idle — most notably his team-up with Angry Archer, whose voice is very clearly an imitation of John Cleese.
    • They originally wanted Scott McNeil to reprise his role as Waspinator from Beast Wars, but he was unable to work in the US without a permit. Kenso Kato on the other hand, got to reprise his role for the Japanese version.
    • Jetfire and Jetstorm were originally going to both be voiced by Eric Bauza instead of Tom Kenny and Phil LaMarr.
  • Megatron was originally planned to wield a katana, as seen here, but it was changed to a pair of twin swords formed from his helicopter rotors. The art also doesn't appear to contain his iconic fusion cannon, though whether or not this means he wasn't going to have it is unknown.

    Specific episodes 
  • "Megatron Rising - Part 2" was planned to feature a scene of the Dinobots taking on Megatron, only for them to be taken out one by one. It was scrapped due to the poor quality of the animation, though showrunner Marty Isenberg later stated that it being cut might've been for the best - as it contradicted Grimlock's profile saying he's "just as strong as Megatron".
  • In "Autoboot Camp", conspiracy-crazed Cliffjumper was to be the Autobot framed for being a Decepticon spy, but Hasbro didn't approve, forcing the role to go to Wasp instead.
  • The season 3 opener, "TransWarped", had many scenes that were cut for time:
    • One would've featured Beachcomber walking in on Shockwave's disposal of Blurr, leading to him being murdered by the spy to cover his tracks. Hilariously, the crew were so upset over losing this scene that they planned an entire alternate death scene for him in the planned season 4 opener, with showrunner Marty Isenberg even saying that if he somehow managed to survive that death, they would've tried to kill him again in season 5.
    • An extended sequence showing the end of the Great War was also planned, featuring Animated universe versions of Reflector and Straxus, as well as several of the Omega Sentinels.
  • "Human Error, Part II" would've had a scene involving Angry Archer mugging some citizens, only to be interrupted by Soundwave toys in a parody of the Energizer Bunny ads; sadly, it was cut for time.
  • Some cuts were also made to the finale, "Endgame":
    • A scene was planned that would've shown either Wreck-Gar or one of the Constructicons, to reassure fans that they were still alive after Prowl and Jazz called all the AllSpark shards on Earth back to them.
    • Another scene would've shown Slipstream repairing the destroyed Starscream, setting up their inclusion in season 4.

    Season 4 
A fourth season of Transformers Animated was in the pre-production phase when the show was cancelled in 2008. The second AllSpark Almanac and a variety of statements by the crew go in-depth about what had been discussed to possibly appear in the season:
  • A very early version of Season 4 would've taken the focus away from Earth and Megatron, taking place primarily on Cybertron, with Blackarachnia as the main antagonist. She would've finally come to terms with her mutation - by deciding that technorganic was better than pure machine, and trying to unleash a virus that would transform the entire planet to be like her - but turning all of the new Predacons into mindless zombies as a result. Megatron himself would've acted as a more Hannibal Lector-esque figure, manipulating Sentinel Prime from prison. Ultimately, Hasbro nixed the idea, mandating that the new season had to stay on Earth and feature Megatron as the antagonist again.
    • During this version of the season, a new human characternote  known as the Time Trucker would be introduced. As the name suggests, he was a trucker who had the ability to travel through time, and two episodes were planned to feature him:
      • One was a Flash Forward episode named "Bumble Prime", where a Future Badass version of Bumblebee is now leader of the Autobots, and has joined forces with Galvatron and his Decepticons against the endless horde of zombie Predacons, was also tossed around for Season 3 before being moved to Season 4. In particular, Derrick imagined the decapitated head of Unicron orbiting Cybertron akin to the monster planet's final fate in The Transformers: The Movie.
      • The other one, Arachnus Prime, had the Time Trucker giving Optimus the chance to go back in time and save Elita-1 from ever becoming Blackarchnia, but this causes Optimus to end up in a present where he was the one who became a techno-organic spider transformer instead, and Elita-1 took his place as leader of the Autobot crew.
  • After the success of the first live-action movie, Hasbro nixed the above plans and demanded changes to make the show more closely match up with the film series. In particular, they wanted Bulkhead and Prowl to be replaced with Ironhide and Jazz. Bulkhead was planned to stay on Cybertron to keep Sari company and help defend his family's Energon farm from Decepticon attack, while Prowl was replaced due to his death in the Season 3 finale, though his spirit would reside in the AllSpark, allowing him to give occasional advice from beyond the grave. Jazz was to have defected from the Elite Guard in disgust of Sentinel's actions, while Ironhide was sent along as The Mole to keep tabs on Optimus.
    • In addition, Optimus would've had flame decals added to his legs and Ratchet would be turned green and black so that they'd more closely resemble their film counterparts. In Trial of Megatron, Optimus's change is because he's awarded with the "Flames of Cybertron", a symbol of his heroism for bringing in Megatron, while Ratchet's green color scheme was a "work mode" resulting from his time on Project Powermaster. The team hated both of these changes, to the point where the outline of Trial of Megatron has Optimus outright call the flames "stupid" (which almost certainly would've been cut for the final episode).
  • While most of the season's planned episodes are only known to the public via titles and brief text blurbs, for BotCon 2019, a script reading for the planned three-part season opener, "Trial of Megatron", was held. To recap:
    • The AllSpark's dispersal on Earth would cause the sudden growth of technorganic energon crystals all over Detroit, which are significantly more powerful than Cybertron-grown crystals, but can only be grown in organic environments. This is noted as important because Cybertron's own energon harvest, according to one of the farmers, is "getting worse every year".
    • Ultra Magnus would've finally gone offline; in his last words, he apologizes to Optimus for doubting his status as a leader and says he would make a great Magnus himself someday.
    • After repeatedly making a fool of himself in the eyes of the public, a desperate Sentinel Prime tries to upstage Optimus as hero by commissioning "Project Powermaster" (a transforming trailer that forms a suit of winged armor, making its wearer as big as a Decepticon and capable of flight), then by holding a show trial so he can have Megatron publicly executed, but his foolishness and short-sightedness lead to him being unable to make any of the charges stick.
    • Megatron and the other captured Decepticons would've been imprisoned in Kaon, a former Decepticon stronghold used during the war. Through his scheming, Megatron would've gained control over the Mini-Cons that run the facility, allowing him to activate a hidden feature that allowed Kaon to blast off from Cybertron, crashing on Dinobot Island, which would've become the Decepticons' new home base for the season.
    • Optimus and crew (with Ironhide and Jazz in tow) would chase after him, with Optimus stealing Project Powermaster in the process, while Sari would remain on Cybertron to be educated about her heritage, and Bulkhead remaining to defend the energon farms. The script reading however would abandon the idea of Sari remaining on Cybertron, having her return to Earth with the others, Bulkhead's sole reason for remaining behind now being his family's farms.
    • Megatron's goal for the season would've been to collect as much energon as possible, allowing him to terraform the planet into a new homeworld for the Decepticons, as he decides Cybertron is a lost cause.
  • Other episode ideas include:
    • "Turf War": The Constructicons decide to take over Detroit, with them kidnapping Bulkhead and forcing him to become the torso of their new combined mode, Devastator. The team wanted to introduce two new Constructicons so that Devastator could be made of a six-man team like his original counterpart, but Hasbro's reluctance to produce combiners toys also meant that they had a plan B where Devastator would be formed of only the three existing Constructicons, plus Bulkhead.
    • One episode would've featured Rattletrap, Megatron's lawyer from Trial of Megatron, being stranded on Earth and trying to avoid capture from Autobot and Decepticon alike.
    • The Autobots would've also battled a new team of human villains called S.T.E.A.M. (Saving the Earth and Mankind) who used steampunk technology and are against modern technology. Soundwave would've returned in this episode, and according to one of the pitch documents, might have had "one or two more minions" than his last appearance, hinting at the introduction of more cassette characters.
    • There was going to be an episode similar to Gremlins where the Mini-Cons of Kaon messed with all the machinery of Detroit; Ratchet and Fanzone would've teamed up to stop them.
      • This episode replaced an earlier version where Bumblebee would've been sent to an unknown planet in a transwarp accident, leaving him stranded on a planet of Mini-Cons that would've come to worship him as a god, with Gulliver's Travels and the Lilliputians cited as a specific influence.
    • Two Blackarachnia-centric episodes were planned. One would've been about her origins, showing how she fell in with the Decepticons, while the other would've explained how she turned Blitzwing into what he is while also upgrading Megatron into "Marauder Megatron", an even more powerful triple-changer, but the process would've driven Megatron insane and rendered him a threat to both sides.
    • Sentinel Prime would've come to Earth with the reconstructed AllSpark, planning to use it to kill Megatron once and for all. The ghost of Prowl would've returned in this episode, body-jumping between various characters who had been brought to life by AllSpark shards, trying to warn Optimus about the consequences of Sentinel's plans.
    • In one episode, Cosmos would've had to go to Earth to deliver a message to Optimus, but he loses his memory after crash-landing and scanning a prop flying saucer from a B-movie set. According to vague recollections from Marty Isenberg, the message was planned to be a warning of a traitor among the Autobot ranks, which would've foreshadowed another episode where it turned out that Cliffjumper was infected with a virus that made him act as a double agent.note 
    • There would've been an episode where Bulkhead and Sari attempt to transwarp to Earth, only for a transporter accident to send them to a Shattered Glass version of the Animated universe. This episode was originally planned for Season 3, but was moved to Season 4 when the Season 3 premiere became a three-parter.
    • The season finale of Season 4 would’ve been a massive final battle in which Megatron threatened to destroy the entire Earth, and Optimus would’ve recruited as many allies and even villains as possible in an Enemy Mine to finally stop him.
  • Derrick J. Wyatt revealed numerous ideas for the series prior to his death. However, since none of these episodes ever showed up on any of the planned Season 4 episode listings, it's not clear if they were ever truly considered for the show or were just vague concepts that he had. These are:
    • An episode where Blackarachnia would've attempted to make a technorganic clone of Optimus Prime, leading to the creation of Optimus Primal. The episode's planned name was even Trukk vs. Munky!
    • A David Lynch-inspired episode featuring Sector Seven from the movie continuity, including an appearance from Seymour Simmons, and featuring Metalhawk as a major character with Kyle MacLachlan voicing him.
  • Derrick Wyatt mentions that they were planning on setting up a fight between the Dinobots and Constructicons in Season 4, referencing the rivalry between the groups in the G1 cartoon.
  • Bludgeon would've appeared as a pirate, instead of the usual skeleton samurai.
  • According to Marty Isenberg, Megatron's increasing mental instability (as well as a scene in Trial of Megatron where he threw Blitzwing, Lugnut, and Shockwave into the reactor to painfully drain their energy to power the ship) would lead to the other Decepticons doubting his ability to lead, eventually defecting to join a splinter group. Marty's notes specifically name Starscream as the leader of this group of renegade Decepticons, but Derrick J. Wyatt stated that Slipstream was the leader. It's unknown if one or the other was mistaken, or if they simply disagreed on who the real leader was.
  • A fifth season was also planned, but almost nothing is known about it. All we know for sure is that it was going to be the final season, and Sari's origins would've been fully revealed by then.

  • Prototypes of Hot Shot and Marauder Megatron were created, but both were ultimately cancelled.
  • During the planning stage, Wildrider and Breakdown's remolds were switched around. Originally Wildrider was supposed to be from Rodimus while Breakdown was supposed to be from Lockdown. This is in keeping with a previous G1 Wildrider release which was also a repaint of Rodimus (through the classics toy).
  • Pre-mutation Wasp had a toy of his own in development, a redeco of Bumblebee, named "Fugitive Waspinator" (presumably for trademark reasons). Since the toyline was ending at the time, Hasbro said that they were only going to make one new head, which could go to either Wasp or Ironhide. The creative team decided to go with Ironhide, which ended up being the right call; Ironhide's toy was released as a Toys "R" Us exclusive, while Wasp's ended up cancelled.
  • Blackout was going to get a toy, but it ended up only being released in the Japanese toyline. Notably, it turned into a helicopter mode rather than the beetle-esque spaceship he was seen turning into in "TransWarped", implying he was planned to get an Earth mode in season 4.
  • Wingblade Optimus Prime and Hydrodive Bumblebee were also planned for western releases, but ended up being Japan-only.
  • Various toys were planned for repaints, but were cancelled:
    • Mercenary Swindle, a black repaint.
    • A redeco of Voyager-class Starscream as Thundercracker.
    • Vortex Blurr, a gray and black repaint.
    • Toxic Oil Slick, who bore a paint job more accurate to his deco in the cartoon.
    • Mudbuster Bulkhead, who had more black to him.
    • Goldfire Grimlock, a golden repaint.
    • Electromagnetic Soundwave, a repaint of the Activator Soundwave to represent Soundwave’s giant white avatar in “Human Error”.

  • Afterburn, the Canon Foreigner from the Titan Comics, was originally going to be named Sideswipe, and preview images even called him that. He was given a different name due to fans hating the design, along with the possibility that Hasbro intervened due to his nature as The Mole, similar to the Cliffjumper example.