You would think, by now, that we know what to expect from a new Transformers movie. However, the marketing materials for December's Bumblebee make the origin story look like something different from what the franchise has delivered in the past... and that might be great news. All it took is one creative change behind the camera's lens, allowing a filmmaker not named Michael Bay to play in this sandbox, and now Bumblebee looks like a heartfelt coming-of-age story that happens to star a Beetle that can morph into a robot in disguise. Check this new trailer out:
Travis Knight helms the new Bumblebee movie, and appears to bring all of the craft and detail that has helped his Laika features (Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls) stand apart from the competition. There are special effects in this movie, but they seem to work to enhance a special story between the lead Transformer and a new human character, Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld).
This new trailer for Travis Knight's Bumblebee also helps to establish more of the film's plot, as it looks like Bumblebee will be on the run from his home planet of Cybertron. There's a war being waged there between the Autobots and the Decepticons, and 'Bee appears to have stolen a very important item that the Decepticons need back. The evil warriors threaten that the Transformers' war could reach our planet if Bumblebee isn't found, and turned over. But we know that Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena aren't just going to turn our innocent little VW Bug over to the bad guys.
In case fans are wondering just how much the larger Transformers universe is going to factor into this new Bumblebee movie, Travis Knight includes a geeky cameo from the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, voiced as always by the legend, Peter Cullen. Could that mean a Megatron appearance, as well? This movie takes place before the Michael Bay movie, but we believe it exists in the same continuity, so a few more connective threads between this movie and the Bay film from 2007 that started this all would be cool.
Bumblebee enters into a very competitive marketplace at the end of December, even though Star Wars is sitting this holiday season out. DC will have a solo Aquaman movie in theaters, while Disney is bringing back Mary Poppins Returns. Sony hopes audiences will follow Spider-Man Into the SpiderVerse (also with Hailee Steinfeld). And FOX is heading into battle with Alita: Battle Angel. To stay up on all of 2019's releases, bookmark our new 2019 Movie Release Calendar, which is hot off the presses.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.