Bumblebee is a 2018 American science fiction film about the Transformers character of the same name. It is the sixth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and a prequel to 2007's Transformers. Directed by Travis Knight and written by Christina Hodson and Kelly Fremon Craig, the film stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon. It is also the first live-action Transformers film not to be directed by Michael Bay, though he still acts as a producer. Principal photography on the film began on July 31, 2017, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.
Bumblebee premiered in Berlin on December 3, 2018, and is scheduled for release in the United States on December 21, 2018, in 2D, Real D 3D, and Dolby Cinema. The film received critical acclaim from critics, who praised the action, editing, cinematography and Steinfeld's performance, as well as the 1980s setting and sense of nostalgia, with some calling it the best installment of the Transformers franchise.
Twenty years before the events of the first film, in 2017, Bumblebee takes refuge in a small Michigan beach town junkyard, where a teenage girl named Hannah Alexander takes him in. However, the two of them soon find themselves hunted by a government agency known as Negan by Agent Roy. As they run from society, the two learn that Bee isn't the only Transformer on Earth, and that the others might not be as friendly.
- Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson, a teenage girl who finds and befriends Bumblebee
- John Cena as Jack Burns, an agent of Sector 7
- Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Memo, Charlie's coworker and friend
- John Ortiz as Dr. Powell, an agent of Sector 7
- Jason Drucker as Otis Watson, Charlie's younger brother
- Pamela Adlon as Sally Watson, Charlie and Otis' mother
- Rachel Crow as Celia
- Abby Quinn as Alice
- Gracie Dzienny as Tina, Charlie’s classmate
- Ricardo Hoyos as Trip, Charlie’s classmate
- Kenneth Choi as Ken
- Stephen Schneider as Ron, Charlie's stepfather
- Len Cariou as Hank, the owner of a junkyard Charlie frequents
- Dylan O'Brien as the voice of Bumblebee, an Autobot scout who transforms into a rusty yellow 1967 Volkswagen Beetle
- Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots.
- Grey Griffin as the voice of Arcee, a female autobot.
- Steve Blum as the voice of Wheeljack, an Autobot scientist.
- Andrew Morgado as the voice of Cliffjumper.
- Kirk Baily as the voice of Brawn.
- Dennis Singletary as the voice of Ratchet.
- Angela Bassett as the voice of Shatter, a Decepticon triple-changer who transforms into a red Plymouth Satellite and a Harrier Jump Jet.
- Justin Theroux as the voice of Dropkick, a Decepticon triple-changer who transforms into a blue AMC Javelin and a Bell AH-1 SuperCobra.
- David Sobolov as the voice of Blitzwing, a Decepticon seeker who transforms into a red/white McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.
- Jon Bailey as the voices of Shockwave, a Decepticon scientist and Soundwave, a Decepticon Communications officer who houses a series of minions that transforms into cassette tapes.
- Kirk Baily as the voice of Decepticon Soldier.
On February 12, 2016, it was announced that the sixth film in the Transformers series Transformers 6 would be released on June 8, 2018, while later it was revealed that the film would be an untitled spin-off, featuring Bumblebee. On November 11, 2016, Deadline reported that Paramount Pictures was moving forward with the project by revealing that Christina Hodson had written the script for the spin-off, and she was one of the female writers Paramount and Michael Bay hired in the "writers room." On March 2, 2017, Deadline reported that Travis Knight was hired to direct the film. In May 2017, it was revealed that the film's story would be set in the 1980s, and that it would have fewer robots. In the same month, it was announced that it would be titled as Transformers Universe: Bumblebee.
In May 2017, it was reported that Hailee Steinfeld was in talks for the female lead in the film, and she confirmed her involvement later in June. On July 11, 2017, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. joined the cast as the male lead. On July 12, 2017, The Tracking Board confirmed that Rachel Crow had been cast in the film. On July 13, 2017, the rest of the core cast of the film was confirmed, including Jason Drucker, Abby Quinn, Ricardo Hoyos and Gracie Dzienny. On July 22, 2017, it was reported that Pamela Adlon had been cast in the film to play Steinfeld's mother. On July 31, 2017, the film added John Cena to its lead cast along with Kenneth Choi and Stephen Schneider in the supporting cast. On October 2, 2017, while interviewing in promotion for the home media release of Transformers: The Last Knight, Peter Cullen revealed he will be in the film. On December 11, 2017, it was revealed that actor Martin Short has joined the film's voice work. On May 31, 2018, Jess Harnell revealed he will be reprising his role as the voice of Barricade from the 2007 film and The Last Knight. On July 13, 2018, it was announced that Angela Bassett and Justin Theroux would be voicing a pair of Decepticons respectively called Shatter and Dropkick. On August 26, 2018, voice actor David Sobolov, who had voiced Depthcharge in Beast Wars: Transformers, Brawl in the 2007 video game and Shockwave in Transformers: Prime confirmed he will voice Blitzwing.
Principal photography on the film began on July 31, 2017, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vallejo, and Mare Island, California, and was scheduled to finish on November 16, 2017, under the working title Brighton Falls. Filming concluded 6 days ahead of schedule on November 10, 2017.
Later, in November 2017, the film was revealed to have changed its title to Bumblebee: The Movie, as well as having wrapped up filming.
Dario Marianelli is set to provide the music score for the film, making this the first time Steve Jablonsky has not scored one of the films in the franchise.
Visual effects for the film will be provided by Industrial Light & Magic, Cantina Creative, and The Third Floor with Jason Smith and Tony Lupoi serving as the main visual effects supervisors.
Bumblebee is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 21, 2018 by Paramount Pictures, having initially being set for a June 8, 2018 release. The first trailer was released on June 5, 2018. The new trailer was released on September 24, 2018 while its international trailer was released on the same date showing that Bumblebee was formerly disguised into an old Jeep Wrangler before he became a Volkswagen Beetle. The film held its premiere at the Sony Center in Berlin on December 3, 2018.
On November 21, 2018, Paramount announced it would hold one-day previews for the film on Saturday, December 8, 2018, similar to the promotion Amazon Prime and Sony Pictures run with films like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and fellow December 2018 release Aquaman.
Box office predictionsEdit
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 96% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Liz Shannon Miller of IndieWire gave the film a "B+" and wrote, "...there are many scenes where giant robots fight each other, and in those scenes, you can actually see what's happening. The Autobots and Decepticons toss each other around with slick judo-like moves and blast each other with abandon, and the cinematography and editing hold still long enough to let you enjoy each moment." Peter Debruge of Variety called the film a "quieter, more character-driven Transformers origin story" and wrote that "Bumblebee is basically the movie that fans of the 1980s animated series wanted all along."