Paramount just held their panel for the upcoming Transformers spin-off Bumblebee and revealed quite a bit about the movie. Director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) was on hand at the event to reveal what they have coming our way later this year. The panel kicked off with a performance of The Touch by Stan Bush, which appeared on the 1987 animated Transformers movie soundtrack. It helped set the tone for the 80s nostalgia fest that Bumblebee is shaping up to be.

One of the biggest reveals that came during the panel is that we'll actually be seeing the Autobots and Decepticons homeworld of Cybertron in the movie. The planet was glimpsed during flashbacks in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but it's set to have a more significant role in Bumblebee. Travis Knight added, "it is awesome." This is sure to make hardcore fans happy. It's been previously revealed that this movie will have far less robots in it, but Knight says, "Every single one of them had to have its own unique silhouette, its own color scheme." They will be a throwback to the G1 Transformers from the 80s. Hence, Bumblebee is a VW Beetle this time around, for example.

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Another detail was revealed regarding two of the movie's Decepticon villains, the cherry-red Plymouth Satellite Shatter, voiced by Angela Bassett, and the blue AMC Javelin Dropkick, voiced by Justin Theroux. They are both "triple-changers." Meaning that they won't just have a car form and a robot form. They are both going to have a surprise, yet-to-be-revealed third form. As for the third, main villain, a jet that was glimpsed in the first trailer thought to be Starscream, is not actually Starscream. Instead, the villain is a Decepticon named Blitzwing. However, it was promised that Blitzwing will be a satisfying bad guy.

"I know you are all disappointed that it isn't Starscream, but Blitzwing is going to be really cool."

John Cena came out on stage and talked a bit about his villain, Agent Burns, but couldn't say much. Though, he is described as "grey," meaning that he's not purely bad. Last, but certainly not least, some new footage from Bumblebee was screened at the event. Unfortunately, Paramount hasn't released the footage online. Per the live blog, here's a description of the footage that was shown at the panel.

"Opens with Bumblebee in the woods, running, being chased by an army vehicle and shot at... he runs to a what looks like a compound and looks up a mountain... he runs but is hit by the truck...Jet flys in 'Who called in the Air Force?' It is Blitzwing, shoots at Bumblebee, transforms, 'So you think you can hide?' They scuffle, but it looks like Bumblebee is going to lose as he is dropped off the mountain and 'sentenced to death.' His core cells show that he is in critical failure and he snaps an image of the VW beetle. Alarm wakes at 800am...Hailee Steinfeld getting ready for... whatever... she goes to work on a boat dock and knocks over a row of boats which uncovers this old VW Bug, that isn't just a bug, She gets in and wipes the dust. She offers to work every day for a year in a trade for the car... and then gets it running...'It's a death trap..... but she's happy though.' Takes the car home and slides underneath... it boots up right above her.She, stands in awe, but doesn't say she found a transformer (sorry, Mark Wahlberg fans). Bumblebee sets in the corner and appears sad as she approaches to talk to him. Reached out and touched him... which is met by a softening 'face' of Bumblebee. She asks all the typical questions, which Bumblebee can't answer... but points at her for information: Im Charley Watson, i'm 18 today, its my birthday today...She prods for more answers, which he buzzes answers, and she decides that she is going to call him Bumblebee. Burns and the two Decepticons meet up and says that they have a common enemy. Back to the faster cuts... Bumblebee 'transforming' on a beach as practice breaks up a chase scene, shooting scenes, and more chase scenes. There was a quick hologram that LOOKED a lot like Optimus Prime."

Indeed, this footage seems to confirm that Optimus Prime, if only in hologram form, will have a presence in Bumblebee. During the Q&A portion of the panel, Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, asked the final question, in voice as the character, saying to director Travis Knight, "My name is Optimus Prime, I could not help but notice my absence in much of your footage." To which, Knight replied, "In fairness that isn't a question... but the movie is called Bumblebee, so it is all about him." Cullen then rebutted with, "So, what's an Autobot have to do to get his own movie?" Knight ended the exchange by replying, "Show your emotional range, maybe? Show exuberance!"

Despite the fact that we didn't get a new trailer, it sounds very much like this could be a new start for the Transformers franchise. Bumblebee is set to arrive in theaters on December 21. This comes to us courtesy of

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott