Although it was originally announced as a spinoff movie set within the Michael Bay universe, Hasbro has now officially confirmed that December’s Bumblebee is being regarded as a reboot of the Transformers franchise.
Hasbro made the announcement at New York Toy Fair, with Transformers fan site TFW2005 reporting that the Travis Knight-directed film is the launching point for “a new storytelling universe” – something which is sure to prove a mouthwatering prospect for those fans who’ve been left disappointed – or in despair – by Bay’s vision for the Robots in Disguise.
A critical success, Bumblebee has been lauded for capturing the spirit of the original Transformers, and introducing the classic Generation One designs. And while it didn’t quite manage to replicate the box office numbers of Bay’s films with just under $460 million at the global box office, Paramount has described the movie as “solidly profitable” – unlike Transformers: The Last Knight, which made a loss of around $100 million.
Given that Paramount pulled its planned release date for Transformers 6, it’s a little unclear at present quite where the franchise is heading next. A sequel to Bumblebee is confirmed as being in development (and may feature an Optimus Prime team-up), while producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has revealed recently that work continues on “another big Transformers movie” that would be “different” to its predecessors. On top of that, there’s also the long-planned animated Cybertron film and Optimus Prime solo movie in the pipeline.
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.
Bumblebee is directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), and stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Broad City), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul), Kenneth Choi (American Crime Story), Ricardo Hoyos (Degrassi: Next Class), Abby Quinn (Landline), Rachel Crow (Deidra & Laney Rob a Train), Grace Dzienny (Zoo) and John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island).