Despite the perceived decline in quality, the Transformers franchise is alive and well. So Paramount is going to milk that cow for all it is worth and part of that means making a Bumblebee spinoff movie. This solo advenure is moving ahead and now the studio is looking for a director to take on the project and for the first time in the history of the franchise, it won't be Michael Bay.
A new report from Deadline claims that Paramount now has a script for Bumblebee that they really love, which was written by Christina Hodson, who is becoming an in-demand talent. She was also recently hired by Warner Bros. to pen the Harley Quinn spinoff DC Comics movie Birds of Prey. Now that Paramount has a script they are confident in the report states that the studio will be going out to directors shortly. Unfortunately, no specific directors were named. Michael Bay has directed all of the previous installments in Transformers franchise, but he will be busy finishing Transformers: The Last Knight, so he wouldn't be able to do it even if he wanted to.
Most studios in Hollywood are trying to assemble some form of cinematic universe in an attempt to mirror the success that Marvel Studios has had. Since Transformers appears to be bulletproof at the box office, Paramount is looking to the robots in disguise to be their cash cow for the foreseeable future. So last year the studio put together a massive writer's room to try and map out the future of the Transformers franchise. Christian Hodson wound up being the one in that room who cracked the code on the Bumblebee movie, so she penned the script.
We know very little about the movie, but it is going to be relatively low-budget when compared to the massive budgets of the other Transformers movies. It was said in a statement when the Bumblebee movie was announced that it will explore the "never before told" story of the beloved character. That leads us to believe that it might be more of an intimate, character driven story as opposed to a large scale, city destroying epic. As it stands, Bumblebee can't actually talk in the Transformers movies because his communicator was damaged and was never fixed, so maybe we will actually get to see the character before that happened and see what a talking Bumblebee looks like? If not, that will certainly make for an interesting narrative challenge.
Paramount currently has release dates set for their next three Transformers movies. Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight will hit theaters next year on June 23, 2017. The first trailer for that is expected to land any day now. Bumblebee is scheduled to follow on June 8, 2018. Lastly, the untitled Transformers 6 will arrive on June 28, 2019. So at least for the next few years, Transformers will be a staple at the summer box office. Even if Michael Bay drops the ball with Transformers: The Last Knight, there is hope that a new creative team can help breathe life into the franchise with Bumblebee.