The most recent set photograph from the Bumblebee spin-off movie features a first look at the return of the Autobot's 1980s roots. The last photo from the set was a glimpse at Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie Watson character wearing a Motorhead t-shirt to coincide with the 80s setting. While the last handful of Transformers movies have been met with overwhelmingly negative reviews over the years, the Bumblebee spin-off is looking to set itself apart from the bloat and excess from the Michael Bay directed franchise as director Travis Knight brings Bumblebee back to his heyday.
Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura recently talked about the Bumblebee spin-off taking place in the 1980s, while also teasing that the Autobot might return to its glory days as a VW Bug and now we have proof. The picture comes to us via Kathy Applebaum's Instagram page and it features two yellow VW Bugs on the set of Bumblebee in Sausalito, California. The picture doesn't give anything away, but it does confirm Bonaventura's teasing from a few months back. No high-powered muscle cars and Mountain Dew will be needed for this version of Bumblebee.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura was hinting that the Bumblebee movie will go back to capture the original classic Transformers spirit and taking place in the 1980s is the perfect way to do so. That original spirit has been severely missing from the recent Transformers movies that seem to have lost the plot and been crushed under the weight of explosions and crazy budgets. Plus, if you haven't noticed, the 80s are back with the popularity of Netflix's Stranger Things and the upcoming Steven Spielberg directed Ready Player One to name a few. Taking Bumblebee back to the 80s is a wise choice that may end up winning over skeptics of the Transformer franchise.
Bumblebee will be different not only because of the 1980s setting, but will also be made with a lot smaller of a budget than what the bloated Michael Bay movies were made for, which is certainly a good thing. A more restrained approach will no doubt help the movie focus on characters and the story instead of relying on special effects and explosions to carry the movie along. The story of the Bumblebee movie revolves around the relationship between the Autobot and Steinfeld's character, so a more restrained approach makes sense, even with a smaller budget.
The Bumblebee movie is currently filming in Northern California and has a release date of December 21st, 2018 after getting pushed back from a June 2018 release. Travis Knight, who made his directorial debut last year with Kubo and the Two Strings, will make his live-action debut with Bumblebee. The movie is set to make a return to form for the Transformers franchise while creating something new and fresh that can stand on its own. Bumblebee should have no problem topping Transformers: The Last Knight at the box office, which was a series low point for the franchise. You can check out the picture from the set below. Only time will tell how soon we get to see co-star John Cena on set.