Bumblebee, the first spinoff film set in the Transformers franchise, is aiming to start production this July. As Paramount gets ready to release director Michael Bay's The Last Knight in June, the studio has plans to expand the property well beyond the core narrative with a bevy of standalone films that explore other corners of the universe. Under Bay's direction since 2007, Transformers has enjoyed global box office success with the first four films in the franchise based on Hasbro's iconic action figures, and The Last Knight looks to continue that blockbuster success.
But with the film comes Bay's last turn at the helm of a Transformers movie, and Paramount is quickly transitioning into its spinoff movies with new director Travis Knight. According to My Entertainment World, which tracks start dates on feature films and TV shows, the currently untitled Bumblebee movie is set to begin production in mid-July with locations yet to be determined. Barring any delays, that will give the Bumblebee about a year of production time before Paramount rolls out the film in June 2018.
Little is known about the Bumblebee film, which of course is based on Sam Witwicky’s (Shia LaBeouf) loyal Autobot companion in the first Transformers. Bumblebee has since appeared in all the Transformers sequels, and will once again be featured in The Last Knight.
No matter which direction the Bumblebee movie takes, the project appears to be in capable hands. Paramount brought aboard Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) in 2015 to help develop the Transformers cinematic universe (Goldsman also wrote the story for The Last Knight); and in March, the studio hired Oscar-nominated Kubo and the Two Strings director Knight to helm his first live-action film with Bumblebee. As a stop-motion writer, director, producer and on-set animator (and CEO of Laika Entertainment, to boot), Knight is a meticulous filmmaker – he has to be considering his stop-motion features are shot frame by frame – so fans should be confident in his abilities both with visual sensibilities and as a storyteller.
Obviously Bumblebee signals a new beginning for the Transformers franchise with spinoff films, but fans need not fret about whether we'll get more sequels to the films that started it all. At least two more Transformers films are in development, and Bay said at CinemaCon that there are 14 more stories written for sequels, and some have made him rethink his idea of stepping away from directing in the franchise for good after The Last Knight. Maybe the big kid shouldn't put his very large and expensive toys just yet; clearly playing Transformers is just too fun.
Source: My Entertainment World
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018