Bumblebee from the Transformers is getting his own spin-off movie, and the just-released trailer suggests that it's not the overly flashy spectacle of the franchise's previous entries. One if the biggest surprises to fans of the Michael Bay movies is that Bumblebee is no longer uses a Chevrolet Camaro to hide his humanoid robot form. Instead, the character returns to his origins from the cartoon by concealing himself as an old-school Volkswagen Beetle.
Set in 1987, according to the Internet Movie Database, the movie stars Hailee Steinfeld as a mechanically inclined young woman who discovers a decrepit Beetle and aims to fix it up. At her home's rather impressive garage, Bumblebee reveals himself to actually be a robot in disguise. The trailer exactly doesn't reveal what happens next, but John Cena plays a soldier that seems to be tracking Bumblebee.
A brief portion of the trailer shows a transforming fighter plane, so Bumblebee isn't the only robot in the film. Given the design, we wonder if Starscream might not be the mechanical bad guy. The IMDB listing also shows voice actors for Optimus Prime and Barricade.
In another change for the cinematic franchise, Michael Bay won't be behind the camera. Instead, relative newcomer Travis Knight is directing. His only other credit as a director in the animated film Kubo and the Two Strings, but he was lead animator on Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls.
The trailer indicates that the relationship between Bumblebee and Steinfeld's character is the heart of the movie. In various scenes, there are clips of the robot saving her, and the actress diving into water after the Transformer. This seems like quite a big change for a film franchise that's better known for lots of stuff blowing up than character relationships. The change in tone and have a young, female lead might bring a different audience to the new movie. It comes out this Christmas.