Paramount have announced that their attempt to spawn a Transformers shared universe will begin when the Bumblebee movie opens on December 21st 2018. This will put it in direct competition with James Wan’s Aquaman movie for Warner Bros and DC. This also sandwiches the film between Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, and Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which drops into cinemas a week after Bumblebee opens.
It feels like a strange time to be moving forward with a shared Transformers universe, with the franchise leaking popularity with the relative failure of Transformers: The Last Knight. With $568.9m at the global box office, off the back of a $217m production budget, fatigue for the robots-in-disguise is at an all-time-high.
However, there is a lot to be optimistic prime about when it comes to Bumblebee. Firstly, Michael Bay is no longer careering the franchise off the road in an incoherent series of shouts and pyrotechnics. Instead the movie will be directed by Kubo and the Two Strings genius, Travis Knight. If you’re yet to watch the Laika Studios animated masterpiece, doing so will give you hope that the spin-off is in the hands of a director who understands the need for layers beneath the creative spectacle.
Bumblebee will also take place in the mid-eighties, jumping on the nostalgia bandwagon of Stranger Things and Stephen King’s IT. Set in a California beach town, focusing on a character named Charlie, played by the perennially brilliant Hailee Steinfeld, who finds Bumblebee living in a scrapyard and befriends him. The pieces are in place for the kind of alien-befriends-kid pic that made the first Transformers film work.
It has also just been announced that wrestler-turned-actor John Cena will play a lead role, joining Pamela Adlon, Stephen Schneider, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Jason Drucker, Kenneth Choi, and Abby Quinn, when the movie begins shooting this week.
Paramount Pictures will release Bumblebee on on December 21st 2018.
Image: Paramount Pictures