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Rather than pick up where Transformers: The Last Knight left off, the latest entry of the Transformers film series, Bumblebee, looked back to 1987 to show the eponymous protagonist forming an especially close bond with Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie Watson. Like John Cena, who played Sector 7 agent Jack Burns, Steinfeld is game for Bumblebee getting a sequel, and the actress told CinemaBlend's own Dirk Libbey that wants this to happen mainly because she feels there's a lot more that can be done with Charlie. Steinfeld explained:
I think she's still capable of so much and we see that throughout the course of this film and we see how much growth takes place in such a short period of time that by the end of the film, you know, even though she's overcome so much, uh, I still feel she's got so much to say, a lot more to learn and a long way to go. So I would be interested in exploring that.
We won't go into spoilers for those who haven't seen Bumblebee yet, but as indicated by Hailee Steinfeld's comments, the movie ends with the proverbial door open to explore more of Charlie Watson's life on screen. Her first adventure with Bumblebee commemorated her transition into adulthood, but who's to say that has to be her last encounter with robots in disguise? Travis Knight already has some ideas for a Bumblebee sequel, so perhaps he'll be able to fulfill Steinfeld's wishes if the project gets the green light and he sits back in the director's chair.
Of course, it's important to remember that Bumblebee is a prequel to the previous Transformers movies, not a full-on reboot. There's a two decade gap between Charlie Watson's adventure with Bumblebee and when Sam Witwicky met the yellow Autobot for the first time. If Steinfeld were to reprise Charlie in Bumblebee 2, it would have to take place in the immediate years after its predecessor, i.e. the tail end of the '80s or the beginning of the '90s, since in the present day, Charlie would be in her late 40s to early 50s, depending on when the next main Transformers movie comes out.
As far as critical reception goes, Bumblebee has established itself as the best of the Transformers movies, as it's been met with numerous positive reviews and ranks at 93% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Commercially, on the other hand, Bumblebee has had a rough time, making only $192 million worldwide off a $135 million. To be fair, it had some major competition the week it opened in the form of Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns, and it also showed on fewer screens.
Critical acclaim is nice, but a blockbuster like Bumblebee also needs to be profitable, and so far it's not making many waves in that area. We'll just have to wait and see if Paramount Pictures is keen on keeping the Bumblebee train going, but at least Hailee Steinfeld is enthusiastic about exploring more of Charlie Watson's life rather than keeping this a one-and-done affair.