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The Transformers franchise is one of the most successful in cinematic history, earning billions at the box office. So naturally, as is the trend in this day and age, Paramount seems to be hoping to build out a cinematic universe with spinoff films about characters from the main saga. The first of those films, Bumblebee, hits theaters at the end of the year. As far as other possible spinoffs, the character with the most name value, more than even Bumblebee, is franchise hero Optimus Prime. So will the Autobot leader get his own spinoff movie? Here's what Transformers franchise producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura has to say:
I'd certainly like to do that. It would be a very different kind of movie than a Bumblebee movie, but equally interesting and different.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura certainly sounds open to it, and you would have to imagine that Optimus Prime would be pretty much at the top of Paramount's list of characters that could potentially support their own movie. I imagine that Paramount already has some ideas for an Optimus Prime movie, and is probably just waiting to see how Bumblebee performs to see if any adjustments need to be made and give the go ahead. Yet, as Lorenzo di Bonaventura tells Entertainment Weekly, such a film would have to be quite different than the upcoming Bumblebee, in part due to the distinctions between the types of characters Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are.
He's a stoic leader, and you can count on him. Whereas Bumblebee is the one who is more emotionally volatile. He has a lot of ups and downs. So it seemed like the best character to try for the first time zeroing in on one Autobot.
Bumblebee is a more emotional character, and that's part of what makes his solo outing interesting. He won't be a part of some bigger team, but be on his own. And because of how Bumblebee wears his heart on his sleeve and has the most human emotions, we will be able to connect with him as a character in a way that we might not have with Prime. The Optimus Prime we have seen in the movies is often the moral center of the films and the stalwart hero, so a movie focusing on him would demand a different approach. If Bumblebee is the heart of the Transformers, Optimus Prime is the soul. The two characters are very different, but that's what could make their respective spinoffs interesting, they would not feel like the same movie.
Personally, I'm not sure how a solo Optimus Prime film would work, considering that he has basically been the hero of the films thus far. So, in a way, they all were Optimus Prime stories. On the other hand, I didn't expect to like the new Bumblebee trailer, but was pleasantly surprised to see a different, more personal tone that teases a movie more akin to E.T. about a girl and her friend, similar to the beginning of the first Transformers film, than the subsequent ones that just increased the scale of the flying alien junkyards each time out. If an Optimus Prime spinoff film can also subvert expectations and tell a story that feels different and necessary to move this franchise forward, then I'd be open to it.
The first Transformers spinoff film Bumblebee is directed by Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight, and starring Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena. The film rolls into theaters on December 21st. For all of the biggest movies hitting theaters this year, check out our release schedule.