The TRANSFORMERS franchise is finally headed in a new direction. After five mindless installments helmed by Michael Bay, the series will see its first spinoff next year. Paramount has announced that the upcoming spinoff, BUMBLEBEE, is set for release on December 21, 2018.
LAIKA head Travis Knight (KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS) is set to make his live-action feature directing debut on the picture, which will star Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Pamela Aldon, Stephen Schenider, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Jason Drucker, Kenneth Choi, Ricardo Hoyos, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, and Grace Dzienny.
Here’s the first official synopsis:
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.
I’m actually somewhat interested in this movie. I’m not inherently against TRANSFORMERS; I’m just against the oppressive spectacle Bay has insisted upon for these movies, and there’s plenty of room for a good movie about a young kid and her robot-alien-car. Also, while Optimus Prime is a chore, Bumblebee is cute, fun character, so I’m interested to see where this movie will go. Principal photography on the film begins today, and the entire movie will shoot in California.
December 21, 2018 will be a tough day at the box office. Warner Bros. is releasing AQUAMAN, and four days later Disney will have MARY POPPINS RETURNS. That’s not to say that BUMBLEBEE doesn’t have a shot, but TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT has only pulled $128 million domestic and $568 million worldwide. Compare that to the previous film in the series, TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, which earned $245 million domestic and $1.1 billion worldwide.