It’s been a little over ten years since the very first Transformers exploded into theaters. But after five movies, the series might finally have a heart in the upcoming prequel movie Bumblebee. And it finally might be the Transformers movie hardcore bot fans have been yearning for.
On Tuesday, Paramount released the trailer for Bumblebee. Set in 1987 (but you can’t tell at all, everything looks 2018), the speechless Bumblebee is a refuge from Cybertron who holes up in a junkyard as a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle. There, he meets a teenaged girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who must save him from the U.S. government and Megatron’s right-hand man, Starscream. The film also stars John Cena as an agent of Secter 7, the shadowy arm of the government that makes contact with the Autobots and Decepticons.
The film takes place twenty years before Michael Bay’s first Transformers that starred Megan Fox and Shia “He’s gaining on you” LaBeouf. In that movie, Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) finds Bumblebee at a used car lot owned by Bobby, played by the late Bernie Mac (that’s his disembodied voice heard in the Bumblebee trailer). The film could end with the humble Autobot ending up in Bobby’s care.
In just two minutes, Bumblebee shows it has a warm beating heart unlike the previous five movies from Michael Bay, and it’s doing so with way less bots packing every frame. Though it will still be a wham-bam CGI action movie, fewer robots hopefully means Bumblebee will look more like a real movie than an overblown toy commercial.
Also, Bumblebee is kind of hot?
Is this The Shape of Water for Transformers? Seriously asking.
Though it’s a prequel to Transformers, Bumblebee is in a position to start Hasbro’s cinematic universe that could connect to other franchises like G.I. Joe, ROM, M.A.S.K., Micronauts, and maybe Power Rangers. But that’s only if audiences pay money to see Bumblebee and Hailee Steinfeld, um, get together.
Bumblebee hits theaters on December 21.