Ahead of TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT‘s theatrical debut, Paramount is already gearing up for the first spinoff from their $3 billion-plus franchise, BUMBLEBEE. In the first piece of casting news, TRUE GRIT and PITCH PERFECT 2 star Hailee Steinfeld is eyeing the “Transformers Universe” film, which recently recruited KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS helmer and LAIKA president/CEO Travis Knight to direct. Per Variety, Steinfeld is in talks to star in the film, plot details are still being kept under wraps but THR adds her character is “a tomboy who also holds a job as a mechanic after school.”
The mystery surrounding Steinfeld’s character is in keeping with the project secrecy so far. Not much is known about the film centered on the fan-favorite yellow and black Autobot except that it is intended to be a “lower cost” installment in the TRANSFORMERS franchise and apparently there was an R-rated “very Quentin” pitch on the table at some point. The current draft of the screenplay emerged from Paramount’s much-discussed TRANSFORMERS writers room, and was penned by Christina Hodson. The three-time Black List scribe was also recently tapped to write the screenplay for the Warner Bros./DC film, BIRDS OF PREY. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Michael Bay, and Steven Spielberg are producing.
While Steinfeld’s already had a fabulously impressive career for someone her age, BUMBLEBEE would give the actress her first opportunity to lead an enormous franchise. Steinfeld has kept busy since making her Oscar-nominated film debut in 2010’s TRUE GRIT, including multiple studio leads and a career as a recording artist. Most recently, she joined the Barden Bellas in 2015’s PITCH PERFECT 2 and earned awards attention, including a Golden Globe nomination, for her performance in last year’s THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. Next, she’ll be back among the pitches for the Christmas-themed PITCH PERFECT 3, which has wrapped filming.
They better get working quick if they intend to keep their prime summer 2018 release date, I would expect a release date shift arriving as soon as more details are settled. BUMBLEBEE is slated to open in theaters on June 8, 2018.