“Bumblebee, there is only one way to end this war: You MUST protect Earth, and it’s people” – Optimus Prime
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee 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.
We’ve already talked about Bumblebee before, RickRoll and all, but the latest trailer gives us a bit more information on the film. In particular, more Transformers that are to be featured. After the box office failure of The Last Knight, future films of the Transformers franchise was put on hold, Bumblebee was already in pre-production at the time, so filming commenced. Meant to serve as a prequel the the previous films, the top secret organization, Sector 7, is featured, as is Hoover Dam where their secret base is located, from the looks of the Transformers featured, it’s quite possible that Bumblebee could serve as a full reboot of the franchise.
The looks, ah yes. We are talking Generation One Transformers. That is the characters looks from the original toyline from the 1980’s. Bumblebee is back to his classic VW Bug look in vehicle mode, and short, compact, with horns and a faceplate in robot mode.
The two Decepticons deceiving the humans into thinking that Bumblebee is evil are triple-changers. Dropkick changes into a blue AMC Javelin and a Bell AH-1 Supercobra. Shatter changes into a red Plymouth Satellite and a Harrier Jump Jet. That’s Angela Bassett you hear providing the voice of Shatter. Other Decepticons on Earth are Blitzwing, a seeker who transforms into a McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom II, and the Decepticon scout, Barricade, who’s been with the film franchise since 2007.
We get a glimpse of Cybertron, and the Transformers who are there, chief among them, Optimus Prime, once more voiced by Peter Cullen, and with his 80’s classic red semi-truck look. Of the Decepticons that we see on Cybertron (we’re sure Starscream is one of the jets featured in the brief clip), we have Shockwave, who transforms into a ray gun, and Soundwave, who in the 80’s line up, transformed into a cassette player. That’s Ravage who Soundwave ejects in the clip.
We also see more of the humans that the robots come into contact with. Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie, who befriends Bumblebee, and we have more of the interaction between the two characters. Jorge Lendeberg (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Alita: Battle Angel) plays Charlie’s friend, Memo. WWE superstar John Cena plays Agent Burns of Sector 7, who’s out to destroy Bumblebee. It’s possible that should this film succeed, we may see Cena return to the role in future films.
If you are a longtime fan of the Transformers, and were disappointed in how the previous films turned out, this just might be the film that you’ve been waiting on. And if the film turns out as awesome as you’re hoping it’ll be after viewing the trailer, there are two people to thank. The film’s screenplay is written by Christina Hodson, who only has two previous screenplays to her credit, Shut In and Unforgettable, and has also written Birds Of Prey and Batgirl for Warner Brothers. The director is Travis Knight, and this is his first live action film, it’s also his second film as a director, the first being Kubo And The Two Strings.
The film is not 100% Michael Bay-less, however. The director of the previous Transformers films serves as one of the producers of this film. We can’t have everything we want in a Transformers film, I guess.
Bumblebee is distributed by Paramount Pictures and comes to theaters on December 21, 2018.
Gary DaBaum, SCIFI.radio DJ, writer, and all around nice guy, can be heard on SCIFI.radio. He’s also on Twitter: @GaryDaBaum.