Paramount is full-steam ahead on their Transformers shared cinematic universe in the wake of Transformers: The Last Knight, and the first film off the press will be a spinoff centered around Bumblebee, the fan-favorite Autobot, scout and Optimus Prime’s second-in-command. The film, variously referred to as Transformers Universe: Bumblebee, Transformers: Bumblebee or Bumblebee, began principal photography this past Monday and takes place in the 1980s thus making it a prequel to the entire series.
Here’s the official synopsis:
The story is set in the year 1987, where Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, 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.
The film is being directed by Kubo and the Two Strings helmer Travis Knight from a script by Christina Hodson (Shut In, Unforgettable )) and is set to star Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Ender’s Game) as Charlie alongside WWE superstar John Cena taking on a “lead role,” likely Charlie’s father. Other cast members include Kenneth Choi (Spider-Man: Homecoming, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson), Stephen Schneider (Imaginary Mary, Broad City), Pamela Adlon (Californication, King of the Hill), Jorge Lendeborg (Brigsby Bear, Spider-Man: Homecoming), Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Barely Lethal), Abby Quinn (The Sisterhood of Night), Rachel Crow (Rio 2, Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh), Ricardo Hoyos (The Belko Experiment, Degrassi: The Next Generation) and Gracie Dzienny (Supah Ninjas, Zoo). There’s no details on who everyone is playing, but I’m sure those will be forthcoming sooner rather than later.
While the franchise as a whole is generally looked at as being nothing more than mindless, VFX-driven popcorn flicks, it currently sits at a $4.3 total billion box office from a budget of $972 million across five films. Those aren’t numbers you can just dismiss, no matter how much it pains the collective nostalgia. Having said that, the studio’s plans to expand the franchise seemingly won’t happen without altering previously established canon from tie-in novels and comics, which is hardly surprising.
For example, the events of the Transformers: Movie Prequel comic shows Bumblebee arriving on Mars in his protoform mode in 2003 then proceeds to Earth; not the 1980s like this film will depict. The comic was based on an earlier version of the script and the first film never strongly specifies how long Bumblebee has been on Earth, although it is implied he arrived rather recently. Subsequent films reveal that the Cybertronians have been coming to Earth for thousands of years, so it makes
Transformers Universe: Bumblebee is set to premiere 21, 2018