2017 is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start looking towards big films headed our way next year. One of those is Bumblebee, Paramount’s first spinoff of the Transformers franchise, and the first image from the new movie has landed online. Paramount tapped LAIKA CEO and Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight to make his live-action directing debut on the pic, which finds Hailee Steinfeld taking on the lead human role.
But as you can see in this first look image, there’s one major difference from the Transformers movies: Bumblebee is a period piece. The film is set in the 1980s 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. That’s a change of pace from the nonsensical action of Michael Bay’s five (!) Transformers films, and it’ll be interesting to see how audiences respond.
This summer’s The Last Knight was a bona fide box office disaster compared to previous installments in the franchise, grossing only $130 million domestically versus Age of Extinction’s $245 million take. Worldwide it was the lowest-grossing film in the franchise, bringing in a whopping $500 million less than Age of Extinction, and even grossing $100 million less than the first Transformers movie a decade ago. That is a massive, massive failure.
Will Bumblebee show the way forward for the franchise? It’s certainly possible, and getting a new filmmaker in the mix was certainly a step in the right direction. We recently spoke with Steinfeld, who teased a more character-driven film:
“It takes place in the 80s, of course. And 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.”