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Needless to say, we have to get into some spoilers for Bumblebee in this article. So if you haven't yet seen the '80s-set Transformers adventure, bail now, and come back after you caught up with it.
Travis Knight's Bumblebee exists on an interesting location of the Transformers cinematic timeline. It's a prequel, set years before Michael Bay's initial Transformers, meaning it can lay some groundwork as it tells its own story. When we get to the end, there still seems to be some gap as to where Travis Knight's movie ends and Bay's first one begins. So when we sat down with the director at a recent press day, we asked if there's material in that gap that could be explored in Bumblebee 2, and he explained:
I think it certainly could be. I mean, when I get to the end of one of my movies, I always imagine what's next for the characters. And so, in my mind, I've got all these scenarios and adventures that play out, both with Charlie and with Bee and everyone else. We'll see if the world wants more. Maybe we'll explore some of those things.
Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) was nowhere to be seen in the Michael Bay movie, though it's revealed in Bumblebee that she's the one who fixed the Autobots' radio, teaching him to use songs and soundbites to communicate. When we got to the end of Bumblebee, we were curious why she's never mentioned in the Bay movie -- likely because he had no clue they'd ever introduce the character in a 2018 movie.
But now there is some wiggle room, and another Transformers spinoff movie could make room for Charlie and Bee. In the mid-credits scene of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime appears, and commends Bee for protecting planet Earth, which is about to become a safe haven for the Autobots. We pan up to the sky, and see several more Autobots racing though the skies toward Earth.
Travis Knight certainly has thought about this. Paramount likely wanted Bumblebee to do better at the box office, though. Facing stiff competition over the weekend, the Transformers prequel grossed $21.6 million against a reported production budget of $135 million. That's rough. Overseas, the movie has added $31M so far, but it has a LONG way to go before the studio starts thinking about a sequel.
Here's Travis Knight talking his ideas for that follow up with us:
The thing about Bumblebee is that it's getting the best reviews of the series, meaning that critics, at least, loved what Travis Knight tried to do with this sweet girl-and-her-car story. Word of mouth might power the movie in the coming weeks. And Paramount's not going to give up on the brand any time soon.
But yeah, this one didn't set the world on fire.
What do you want to see out of a Transformers movie next? Share some ideas in the comments section below. And for release dates on all of the movies coming to theaters in 2019, bookmark our calendar, and check it often.