Back when Steven Spielberg was possibly going to direct the original Transformers film (before dialing back to executive producer), his intent was to stick to his brand and make an E.T./Elliott-like connection between Sam and the Autobots (maybe even Bumblebee specifically). Then Michael Bay got his hands on it and crushed that sentimentality into oblivion.
Well now sentiment is back in a big way with Bumblebee, the first character spinoff of the Transformers series.
Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), it’s an origin story of sorts about the yellow VW bug that talks in pop culture soundbites via signals through his radio. Making the connection with him is Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen) who plays Charlie, an 18-year-old Californian trying to find her place in the world.
And I gotta say, I think Knight could really pull this off. If he can thread the needle and make an action flick with all the feels (like this first trailer suggests), Paramount may very well have a holiday season Jumanji-sized reboot surprise on their hands.
Set in 1987, Bumblebee opens on December 21, 2018.