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John Cena Takes the Lead in Bumblebee Movie as Shooting Begins

By Brian Gallagher — July 31st, 2017

Paramount Pictures, in association with Hasbro, announced today that principal photography has commenced on Bumblebee. The film's shoot will take place entirely in California, including in Southern and Northern California. The production has brought on new stars John Cena (Daddy's Home 2, Trainwreck), Pamela Adlon and Kenneth Choi (American Crime Story) to join a Bumblebee cast of rising stars. The studio has also released the first plot details for Bumblebee, confirming the year that the story takes place.

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug. Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central's Broad City), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. Spider-Man: Homecoming), Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul), Ricardo Hoyos (Degrassi: The Next Class), Abby Quinn (Landline, The Sisterhood of the Knight), Rachel Crow (Deidra and Laney Rob a Train), and Grace Dzienny (Zoo).

The film is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (ArgoInception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson (Unforgettable). Paramount Pictures has also announced that the movie will now be released on December 21, 2018, pushing it up a few months from its previous date on June 8, 2018. It will now be going up against Warner Bros. Aquaman, which is still in production. If it would have stayed put on June 8, 2018, it would have gone up against another Warner Bros.' movie, their all-female Ocean's Eleven spin-off Ocean's Eight, starring Sandra Bullock.

This project was birthed from the Transformers writers room, which Christina Hodson was a part of, including writers such as Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Lindsey Beer (Barbie, Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider). These writers put together ideas for a whopping 14 movies, although it hasn't been confirmed which project will come next after this Bumblebee spin-off. With production now getting under way, hopefully we'll get our first look at Bumblebee as this 1980s VW Bug sooner rather than later.

While best known as a WWE Superstar in the ring, John Cena has put together a solid acting resume as well. He has most recently starred in comedies like Trainwreck, Daddy's Home and Sisters, along with this year's indie thriller The Wall, which he starred in alongside Aaron Taylor Johnson. He will next be seen reprising his role as Roger in Daddy's Home 2, in theaters November 10, and he is also voicing the title character in the animated comedy Ferdinand. He is currently filming The Pact alongside Ike Barinholtz and Leslie Mann. With production on Bumblebee under way, hopefully we'll find out more about this spin-off soon.

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