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‘Transformers’ Spin-Off ‘Bumblebee’ Casts Up

Paramount has cast thespians Abby Quinn, Jason Drucker, Rachel Crow, Gracie Dzienny, and Ricardo Hoyos in Bumblebee, their upcoming spin-off of the Transformers franchise. They join previously cast leads Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming). Production is expected to begin later this month, ahead of the film’s planned June 8th, 2018 release. Michael Bay, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Steven Spielberg, and the other usual suspects are on board to produce.

Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight is behind the wheel of this outing, which has been penned by Christina Hodson and will be set in the 1980s, where a young girl who moonlights as a mechanic gets a surprise when she encounters the titular Autobot…

“I know we’re doing a spinoff first in the Bumblebee movie, and that is a very distinctive departure from what you’ve been seeing so far… The objective of that movie is to develop more time with less robots in a way, and to go back to 1985 and go back to sort of the original heritage if you would of the Transformers.”

I’m not the biggest fan of this iteration of the property, having only liked two of the first four films. That said, Steinfeld is a great actress and Knight an imaginative filmmaker. I have faith that they can bring something new to the table here, providing that the studio gives them some creative breathing room. They should also consider tossing the clunky long version of the film’s title (Transformers Universe: Bumblebee).

While profits are down on the latest installment in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, the film has still managed to drum up almost half a billion dollars worldwide. Normally I’d wonder if a studio might consider pumping the brakes in light of such a dip in revenue on a series, but with this spin-off and other planned ones set to have lower budgets, they already seem to be shifting the franchise in a new direction. Hopefully it will be for the better, both for the sake of the property, fans, and Paramount’s current shaky financial status.

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