Why The Transformers Spinoff Bumblebee Has A Female Lead

Bumblebee spinoff with Hailee Steinfeld

Later this year, Bumblebee will release in theaters and the spinoff is already looking pretty different from all of the previous Transformers films. Not only is the movie divorced from the events of the other movies, but it will also feature fewer Transformers and a bit more heart. On top of that, Bumblebee also stars Hailee Steinfeld in the lead human role as a teenage girl who befriends the titular Autobot. Bumblebee has a bit of an E.T. vibe, and that might not be an accident. Apparently, it was Steven Spielberg himself who recommended having a female lead, according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Steven [Spielberg] had always had an idea that a young girl and Bumblebee would be a great combination, so we headed in that direction.

When Steven Spielberg gives you advice on your movie, you take it. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, longtime Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told the publication that it was actually Steven Spielberg's idea to have a female lead in the Bumblebee movie. Seeing as how the previous Transformers leads have all been male, it was a fresh direction to take the spinoff and production ran with it. A lot of things about Bumblebee look different from the rest of franchise, right down to the simpler character designs, so hopefully, this movie is the refresher the series needs right now.

For those not in the know, Steven Spielberg has been an executive producer on every Transformers film. He's apparently been a longtime fan of the Transformers brand after his kids first started playing with the toys in the 80s. However, he seemingly stays out of many of the creative decisions for the movies, as these movies have been Michael Bay through and through. It's tough to pinpoint a lot of Spielbergian touches, other than this most recent note and a few things prior, so it's always interesting to hear what Spielberg was involved with behind the scenes.

Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson, a teenager with a passion for fixing cars living in a small California coastal town. After discovering a Volkswagen Beetle in a junkyard, she takes it home only to discover that it's actually an alien robot sent to Earth to carry out a special mission. The two form a special bond, but Charlie isn't the only one interested in her new friend, as government agents and evil Decepticons come looking for him.

Bumblebee is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 21, 2018. That's still plenty of months away, so read up an all the latest developments with the movie in our Everything We Know guide. There's plenty else arriving in theaters in the meantime, so find out how best to kill time with our 2018 movie release guide, and if you'd like to know the best summer movies to add to your calendar, we've got you covered there too.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.