The villains of the Bumblebee movie will have an extra trick in their arsenal. At the movie's panel at San Diego Comic-Con, director Travis Knight revealed that the evil power of the Decepticons will include a rare ability that will make things even harder for the hero. The eponymous Autobot will be on his own against a bunch of robots and people who want to take him apart.
Knight and the movie's cast, including star Hailee Stanfield, took to Hall H to show off the latest in the blockbuster series. Bumblebee takes place in 1987, which is 20 years before director Michael Bay's first movie. It shows the yellow Transformer's early adventures on Earth, and will include his classic look from the toys and animated series. This adventure includes a secret government agency and some enemy robots. And the latter group will present an even bigger threat than usual.
“They’re triple-changers," Knight said at the panel. "They had to turn into two different things in addition to being a robot. So they are muscle cars… but also Deceptions are aircraft. Come on, who are we kidding? They turn into things that fly. So Shatter can turn into a harrier jet and Dropkick can turn into a chopper. And you can see little pieces of that in the design.”
In the Transformers universe, triple-changing is a rare quality. Only a handful of robots, both Autobots and Decepticons, have had it. This is arguably because those would be way harder toys to make. But Hasbro did manage to create six of them, three from each team. In the Rescue Bots animated series, Autobots leader Optimus Prime gained this trick. But creators have kept the number of triple-changers down in general.
Shatter and Dropkick are characters specific to Bumblebee and the rest of the live-action Transformers movies. So it's not a huge breach of canon to make them triple-changers. Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux will voice them, respectively. And the trailers have also shown off a third member of the Decepticon crew. Fans have guessed that this is Starscream, but Knight says that's not the case. If the third villain is also a triple-changer, that's nine different forms poor Bumblebee is going to have to fight. And all he can turn into is a VW Beetle. He's going to be at a disadvantage, but odds are he'll figure something out.
Bumblebee is the first spinoff from director Michael Bay's series of Transformers films, which have grossed $4.38 billion combined at the box office. The original plan was to expand into a Marvel-style Transformers Cinematic Universe with more expansions and sequels, but after The Last Knight proved a box-office disappointment, the future of the Transformers franchise is set to change. What form it takes moving forward will depend on how well Bumblebee fares this December.
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- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018