The first Transformers movie not from Michael Bay will tell an origin story of sorts for fan favorite Bumblebee, and the first trailer shows this new film is going to be something quite unlike those that came before. While this new trailer isn't without action, that's far from the focus, as Bumblebee looks to be a much more personal story about a relationship between a girl and her friend, who happens to be a transforming robot space alien. Check it out.
I never thought I'd ever describe a Transformers movie as looking emotional or sweet, and yet, here we are. Bumblebee looks to be borrowing more than a little bit from movies like E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. A human discovers an alien that nobody else knows is there, the two bond, and work to protect each other from threats. We see one shot of a group of soldiers together, which also evokes E.T.\__, this is where John Cena will join the story. It's unclear if they are friend or foe, though there is clearly at least one Decepticon, who appears to be Starscream, that Bumblebee will have to deal with.
Hailee Steinfeld plays the primary human role as a young girl who finds a beat up VW in a junkyard and brings it home, only to discover it's actually a robot. We discover that she's the one who teaches Bumblebee to use music to express himself since he's unable to speak, a gimmick which has been used in all the other Transformers films.
Another major change to the standard Transformers formula is Bumblebee himself. While he's still a pretty big robot, he's not the massive behemoth that he is in the main series. He isn't all that much taller than Steinfeld when we first see him, which likely will make him more relatable.
If you were expecting another Transformers explosion-fest with giant robots filling the screen and blasting each other, then Bumblebee may not fit the bill. This looks to be a much more family-focused picture coming out just in time for the holiday season. While the shift in tone is radical compared to the previous Transformers movies, it certainly explains why Travis Knight, the President of Laika and director of Kubo and the Two Strings, was tapped for the job of directing this first spinoff.
Along with the trailer, the first poster for the movie has also been released.
With one trailer it's impossible to know whether this significant shift for Bumblebee is part of a larger change to the franchise, or just an indication that the franchise will be trying a variety of different things going forward. We know that there's an entire writers room working on a Transformers cinematic universe which means we can expect many different projects over the next few years.
I'm certainly much more interested in Bumblebee based on this trailer than I thought I'd be. The complete and utter change to the status quo is very welcome. Bumblebee hits theaters December 21.