Legendary voice actor Peter Cullen - best known as the voice of Optimus Prime in various Transformers projects - crashed the Bumblebee panel at Comic-Con 2018 to demand a solo film for the Autobot leader. The beloved star reportedly stood in line among franchise fans, who were waiting to ask director Travis Knight questions about the upcoming film. Knight appeared to be flustered as Cullen addressed him in-character, wanting to know "what does an Autobot have to do to get his own movie?"
The Bumblebee film,which is scheduled for release in December of 2018, is the first solo spinoff movie to emerge from the popular Transformers' franchise. Based on the popular toy-line, the series has spawned five films set in the same universe since 2007. A sixth film was apparently in the works for release in 2019, but plans for further Transformers movies after Bumblebee have yet to be officially mapped out.
The confrontation between Cullen and Knight was recorded and posted to Twitter by Fandango Managing Editor Erik Davis. The short video, which can be viewed below, shows Cullen being cheered by fans who recognized him, even before he began to speak in the familiar voice of Optimus Prime.
While Knight appeared surprised at first, he was quick to recover as "Optimus" questioned his absence in the new footage of the movie screened at the panel. Knight politely replied that the movie was called "Bumblebee" and, as such, the focus of the movie was on him. This prompted Prime's demand to know what he had to do to merit his own solo movie. Knight replied that he would like to see Prime showcase his emotional range as an actor, portraying "joyful exuberance." Optimus, through Cullen, replied, in his usual deep dramatic voice: "Rightly so. I... am elated to be here."
All joking aside, Paramount could do far worse than to "roll out" a solo film for Optimus Prime. Ignoring that Peter Cullen is clearly game to be involved in such a project, Optimus Prime is perhaps the single most popular character out of all of the Transformers, and most of the films to date have featured Optimus Prime in a major role. Given that the studio is apparently sitting on 14 different treatments for new Transformers films, there's a fair chance that one of them could be adapted into a brilliant piece for the Autobot leader. It's possible, however, that Paramount may be waiting to see how Bumblebee does before making any decisions about the future of the franchise.
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- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018