‘Bumblebee’: John Cena and Director Travis Knight on the ‘Transformers’ Spinoff

     May 1, 2018


One of the many films to world premiere footage at CinemaCon last week was director Travis Knight’s Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee. Unlike the Michael Bay Transformers movies which always took place chronologically, Bumblebee is a prequel that takes place in 1987. In addition, unlike the previous films which always had a male protagonist, Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld as the lead human role and is said to be more in line with a coming-of-age/teen movie with Bumblebee featuring as one of the only major Transformers in the film. When we recently spoke to Steinfeld she told us:

“It’s very character and storyline driven, which is a bit different, but it still has the elements that Transformers fans love and will see in the movie… I play a character named Charlie Watson, who is a mechanic. She’s in high school. [She’s] incredibly unique and strong and has – something I love about her is that a lot of people tend to underestimate her knowledge and she continuously proves herself and what she knows and creates this incredible relationship with this Transformer.”


Image via Paramount Pictures

As I said in my Paramount CinemaCon panel recap, the studio showed a cool looking scene where Steinfeld and Bumblebee meet each other for the first time and then a montage of action which featured Bumblebee kicking a lot of ass. Also, the footage revealed two other Transformers, both of which looked like antagonists. While it’s too early to judge an entire film on a little bit of footage, I did like what the studio showed and I think they’re on the right path.

Shortly before getting to see the footage, I got a few minutes on the red carpet with John Cena and director Travis Knight. Had I seen the footage before doing these interviews my questions would have been different, but you can still see the two of them talking about the film and what fans should be looking forward to. Also, Knight promises Easter eggs and how the spinoff connects Bumblebee to the films Michael Bay has done but that the film stands on its own. He went on to say you don’t have to know anything about Transformers to enjoy the film.

Check out what they both had to say below. Scripted by Christina Hodson (Unforgettable), the film also stars Pamela Adlon and opens in theaters on December 21, 2018.

Finally, I’d like to apologize for the audio. It’s not great. I won’t bore you with the reasons why. Just know if you’ve never watched a Collider interview this is not the norm.

Travis Knight:

  • What was it like directing his first live-action movie?
  • What did he learn from the recent test screening?
  • What can he say about the other Transformers in the movie?
  • How much does the film deal with the mythology of the Transformers and connect to the other films?

John Cena:

  • What can he tease people about the story? Teases awesome action with a great story.
  • Did he grow up with Transformers?
  • What was it like working with director Travis Knight?
  • What can he say about the other Transformers in the movie?
  • What’s coming up for him next?

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