John Cena appeared on the German Transformers social media page yesterday to announce that the long awaited trailer for Bumblebee was going to be released today. The prequel is taking things back to the 1980s when the Transformers were brand-new trailblazing toys with an awesome cartoon series, way before they became box office darlings and ultimately failures. Bumblebee is scaling it back in move that could end up rebooting the entire Transformers franchise, depending on how well it does with critics and the box office.

As for the style, we're looking at the very first version of Bumblebee as an ordinary VW Bug in the year 1987. The tone is immediately different from a Michael Bay production and it looks to be geared a little bit more towards kids this time around. Bumblebee is directed by Travis Knight, who is best known for Laika animated features Kubo and the Two Strings and Coraline. As far as trailers go, this one does what it intends to do by not giving away the entire plot and giving just enough footage for fans to ask for more.

John Cena is Burns, who is an agent of Sector 7 in the Bumblebee movie. In the Transformers universe, Sector 7 is a secret 100-year old government organization that deals with instances of extraterrestrial technology and living beings from other planets. Bumblebee takes place on the California coast and Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie Watson, a teenager who discovers that her yellow VW Bug that she found in a junkyard is really an Autobot named Bumblebee. Charlie fixes up Bumblebee and then learns the extent of his powers.

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Things are not going really well for the Transformers franchise at this time. The 7th movie was recently taken off of Paramount's release schedule after it had an official release date of June 28th, 2019. This has put the focus on Bumblebee to see how the movie performs from a monetary and critical standpoint. As previously noted, Bumblebee could, in theory, reboot the entire Transformers franchise since it takes place 20 years before the first movie hit theaters. A fresh start might be exactly what the franchise needs after The Last Knight came out and tanked, making only $130 million domestically off of a reported budget of $217 million.

The Transformers spin-off looks promising and could very well be the shot in the arm that the Transformers franchise needs. As with most movies from the franchise, Bumblebee looks really cool and it has the extra bonus points of coming from the 1980s, earning heavy nostalgia vibes in the process, bringing the Autobots back to their roots and hopefully introducing them to a whole new generation of kids who had parents who were into them when they first came out. As for the commercial and critical reception, we'll just have to wait and see how Bumblebee fares.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick