Paramount’s Bumblebee spinoff movie has officially begun filming and gotten an official cast, synopsis and new release date to boot. Following the release of Transformers: The Last Knight (a critical dud that has nonetheless done well commercially), Bumblebee promises to be the true test of just how invested general moviegoers are in the mythology and characters of this live-action franchise. A product of Paramount’s ambitious Transformers writers room that was formed a couple years back, the Bumblebee spinoff has been slowly coming into focus over the past few months.

Kubo & The Two Strings helmer Travis Knight is directing Bumblebee, with Hailee Steinfeld starring as the film’s human lead. Several other exciting, young up-and-coming actors have joined the project too, including Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul), Abby Quinn (Landline), Rachel Crow (BrainSurge), Ricardo Hoyos (The Belko Experiment), and Gracie Dzienny (Zoo).

In addition, Paramount has now confirmed that WWE veteran, John Cena, will appear in the Bumblebee movie – which has now begun filming in California. Cena will presumably be taking on one of the lead roles in the film, though no other details about who he will be playing have been revealed yet. Paramount also issued an official synopsis for Bumblebee, along with a new theatrical release date of December 21st, 2018:

Transformers Dark Of The Moon Bumblebee Poster Bumblee Spinoff Starts Filming; Cast, Synopsis & New Release Date

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.  When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Despite what his WWE origins might make some fans think, Cena has been hard at work over the past few years building up his filmography. The actor has proven himself to have a considerable presence on the big screen with his performance in films like Trainwreck. While he will also be appearing in Daddy’s Home 2, and Kay Cannon’s The Pact in the future, Bumblebee undoubtedly marks the highest-profile project that Cena has landed a role in to date.

While the previous five, Michael Bay-directed Transformers films have not gone over well with a majority of the property’s longtime fans, Bumblebee will have a much different tone and style than any of its predecessors. Bumblebee has already received comparisons to films like The Iron Giant and other Amblin-esque titles, as it follows the fan-favorite Autobot team member through one of his many solo adventures on Earth. Now, it’s all just a matter of determining if that change in period and direction will actually be enough to earn Bumblebee the respect of the fans, who were left disappointed in Paramount’s previous Transformers offerings.

NEXT: Bumblebee Will Have Smallest Transformers Movie Budget Yet

Source: Paramount Pictures

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