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Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Transformers One’ Draws Laughs, Cheers in Its Annecy Debut

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Transformers One helped get things rolling Monday as the Annecy Animation Festival goes into full tilt.

Director Josh Cooley and Paramount Animation president Ramsey Naito addressed the crowd before showing a not-quite-finished version of the film in Annecy, France. The animated project’s star-studded voice cast (who were not at the screening) includes Chris Hemsworth, Brian Tyree Henry, Scarlett Johansson, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, Laurence Fishburne and Jon Hamm.

“I’m very, very excited,” Cooley told the audience while introducing the movie that hits theaters Sept. 20. “So much talent and nostalgic love has gone into this movie.”

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Cooley went on to thank the film’s team of the “greatest animators and CG artists in the world” and gave a shout-out to Industrial Light & Magic for their work on the feature. He added to the crowd, “I want to thank you all for being ‘audience one.’”

The audience broke into applause at several points throughout the film, including one pivotal scene involving a major character, which The Hollywood Reporter won’t spoil here. A number of Key’s comedic dialogue lines also elicited laughter from the crowd. The audience gave a standing ovation at the end as Cooley acknowledged the warm response.

Transformers One features the origin story of how Optimus Prime and Megatron’s relationship went from that of close friends to bitter rivals. Hemsworth voices Orion Pax, while Henry portrays D-16. Johansson is Elita-1, and Keegan-Michael Key voices B-127.

The film’s trailer was released in April after debuting at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. While introducing footage from the movie at that time, Hemsworth promised that fans of Optimus Prime will experience “a side of this character that audiences haven’t seen before.”

Based on Hasbro’s popular line of Transformers action figures, the film hails from Paramount Animation and Hasbro Entertainment, in association with New Republic Pictures. It marks the franchise’s first animated theatrical release since The Transformers: The Movie in 1986.

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Hollywood Reporter Original Article

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