No, your eyes did not deceive you, that trailer for the 'Transformers
' spinoff 'Bumblebee
' was good. Like, really good. So, what gives? We break it down here but also make sure to watch our video
has directed five Transformers movies, and by this point, we know what to expect – explosions of orange and teal, hi-def slo-mo mid-air car-to-autobot quick-changes, and plenty of lowbrow jokes to fill in the cracks.Travis Knight
takes the helm for 'Bumblebee
', and his background could not be more different than Bay’s. Bay made operatic, big-budget spectacles 'Pearl Harbor
' and 'The Island
' before taking on the live-action Transformers series, while Knight is fresh off directing the Oscar-nominated, stop-motion epic 'Kubo and the Two Strings
.' He was lead animator at Laika Studios on their introspective and macabre fantasies 'Coraline
' and 'ParaNorman
Screenwriter Christina Hodson
may seem like an anomaly herself considering she’s the first woman to get a writing credit on a Transformers movie, but since 2015, Hodson has been a part of a writers room tasked with expanding the Autobots and Decepticons into their own universe, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Akiva Goldsman
, Oscar-winner for 'A Beautiful Mind
,' led the crew that included 'Ready Player One
' scribe Zak Penn
, "The Walking Dead
" comic creator Robert Kirkman
, and more. Only Hodson remained on for this project.
You must have also noticed that the 1987 setting in a small California beach town all feels very nostalgic for the original 1980s Saturday morning cartoon. Back in April, the CinemaCon audience who saw footage of Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld
’s first meeting with her shape-shifting Volkswagen compared the sneak peek to another sentimental robot and his human friend story – The Iron Giant
… which is high praise.
Fans of the original series are commenting that the robots’ designs are a huge improvement on Bay’s overly-complicated versions. There are clear references to Generation-1 Bumblebee’s streamlined classic model, and villain Starscream appears in his original colors as what looks like to be an F-4 Phantom.
Rumors still swirl about whether this will reboot the Transformers series, or if Bay will make those sequels in his own timeline of films, and if any of this will connect to a larger Hasbro Toys universe with G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., and Micronauts.
But so far, we like what we see in this new, small and intimate approach to a movie with real emotional resonance… and robots punching each other in their metal faces.
' to your IMDb Watchlist, so you never miss an update on the expanded Transformers universe.