Ahead of a new Bumblebee trailer suspected tomorrow, new teaser spots have leaked online - and the latest features footage that fans have been anticipating ever since live-action Transformers movies were announced: a battle between G1 Optimus Prime and Soundwave on Cybertron. When it was first announced that Paramount Pictures intended to spinoff Michael Bay's Transformers series as a prequel centered on the loyal (but non-verbal) Autobot, there was the usual mix of skepticism and optimism. Some fans were done with the series after Bay spent five movies prioritizing (admittedly slick) action setpieces over storytelling (and any real tethers to Transformers history); still, others thought the new spinoff could be a fresh series reset, even if it wasn't a full reboot, and the likelihood that Paramount might be set to do something special with their Bumblebee movie improved exponentially when Laika alum Travis Knight was hired on to direct.
The first Bumblebee trailer was an emotional and heartfelt offering that seemed, for many fans, to serve as a mia culpa - and with retro Generation 1 designs for Bumblebee and Blitzwing - it also served as a love letter to Transformers history. Fans who were excited by the previous trailer now have more reason than ever to get amped for the movie (and the film's next trailer) with the reveal of G1 animated-style Optimus Prime, Soundwave, and Ravage appearing in a flashback fight on a Cybertron battlefield.
Check out the aforementioned teaser below.
The Bumblebee marketing team has also shared a clip from the film featuring an endearing interaction between lead-human hero Hailee Steinfeld and her Autobot companion - albeit one with no major reveals.
Unfortunately, the teaser is very low-res, so fans will have to wait until tomorrow's trailer release to see Optimus, Soundwave, and Ravage in full G1 glory - not to mention get a closer look at this more "traditional" take on what Cyberton looked like on the ground. Nevertheless, even a blurry shot of the square-chested Optimus, not to mention boombox-style Soundwave ejecting Ravage out of his torso, is sure to ratchet up anticipation for an official trailer reveal.
For now, you can see the (blurry) screengrabs below:
The heavy emphasis on G1 character designs and the earnest story of Bumblebee's friendship with a young human hero (that harkens back to Steven Spielberg's influence on the original Transformers film) makes it clear that Paramount and Knight understand that fans might be skeptical of dropping hard-earned cash on another Transformers theater experience - especially if the spinoff was simply another retread of Bay's approach. No doubt, the Transformers movies were incredibly profitable (and fun for many casual filmgoers) but their popularity was, without question, on the decline - as the series' box office peaked with the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.1 billion worldwide) and experienced a comparatively rough falloff two films later with The Last Knight ($600 million worldwide).
Bumblebee faces some tough competition when it releases in the 2018 holiday movie season as Aquaman and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse are both set to bow within one week of the Autobot's solo movie. That said, if Bumblebee keeps dropping these long-awaited teases - and delivers a quality action-adventure film experience - the film may just hold its own and, hopefully, usher in a new era for the Transformers film series.
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018