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As the first Transformers movie of the post-Michael Bay era, the Bumblebee spinoff will move from the present day war between the Autobots and Decepticons to the 1980s, two decades before the beloved yellow Autobot became Sam Witwicky's protector. While plot details have been light on what to expect from Bumblebee's earlier adventure so far, the movie has been gathering its actors over the last couple months. Well, the news broke today that Bumblebee has found its biggest star yet...and his name is JOHN CENA! (Someone start playing "The Time is Now")
John Cena has officially signed on to the Bumblebee spinoff as one of its leads. No details were provided about his character, so given his fame in the world of wrestling and his rising prominence in Hollywood, one would assume that he'll be one of the human characters rather than voicing one of the few other Transformers who are showing up alongside Bumblebee. Cena's other acting credits include The Marine, Trainwreck, Sisters, Daddy's Home (and its upcoming sequel), The Wall and Ferdinand.
Along with John Cena coming aboard, Paramount officially unveiled who will comprise the rest of the Bumblebee spinoff's cast. Cena's co-stars will include Hailee Steinfeld, Pamela Adlon, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Stephen Schneider, Stephen Schneider, Kenneth Choi, Ricardo Hoyos, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow and Rachel Crow. Additionally, the studio provided more specific information about next year's Transformers installment. Set in 1987, Bumblebee will see the eponymous protagonist on the run and eventually finding refuge in a small California town's junkyard. Enter Charlie, who's nearly 18 and trying to find her place in the world. When she discovers the "battle-scarred and broken" Bumblebee, she'll revive him and soon discover that he's not an ordinary VW bug.
But wait, the fun doesn't end there. Along with the casting news and plot information, it was also announced that the Bumblebee spinoff has shifted from its original June 2018 release date to December 21 of that same year. It will now go head-to-head with Aquaman, the first DC Extended Universe movie post-Justice League. Since Sony's animated Spider-Man movie gave up its December 21, 2018 release date in favor of coming out a week earlier, that means we're now getting a more hectic blockbuster brawl before 2018 concludes. Winter has become a more welcome period for major movies to drop, and even though the Transformers movies have been summer fare since the franchise launched in 2007, switching to a December release date will likely help Bumblebee stand out from the crowd, despite its competition with Aquaman.
Directed by Kubo and the Two Strings' Travis Knight and written by Unforgettable's Christina Hodson, the Bumblebee spinoff kicked off production today, and you can enjoy it as a holiday cinematic treat at the end of 2018.