After a brief role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, rising star Jorge Lendeborg Jr. has entered talks for the male lead role in Paramount's highly-anticipated Bumblebee spin-off. While no details were given about the character he's playing, he joins Hailee Steinfeld, who was the first cast member to sign on back in late May. The actress will be portraying a tomboy who holds an after-school job as a mechanic, although it isn't clear quite yet if there will be a connection between her character and Jorge Lendeborg Jr.'s character.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on the casting earlier today although it still isn't announced how many primary roles need to be filled. While no story details have been confirmed, a report from last month revealed this Bumblebee spin-off will be set in the 1980s, long before the first Transformers movie that debuted in 2007. The movie is also said to feature "considerably fewer Transformers," which naturally makes sense since the spin-off revolves around the title character.
There have also been rumors that this movie may show how Bumblebee lost his voice, since this beloved character has only talked through snippets of radio broadcasts. There has been no confirmation of this yet, or any word on who may voice Bumblebee himself, but another report claims that Bumblebee may be a yellow VW Bug in this movie, which would certainly be much different than Bee's current form, a brand new Chevy Camaro. In the original 2007 Transformers movie, Bee was a much older Camaro, before he used his transforming technology to upgrade to a newer model of Camaro, with the car being upgraded in every sequel. But way back in the 80s, Bumblebee's original form was a yellow VW Beetle (or Bug).
During a recent interview last month, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura compared this Bumblebee spin-off to the 1999 animated classic The Iron Giant, revealing that fans will get a "very emotionally complex story, a very tight story in terms of its location and in terms of its storytelling." The producer also confirmed that the story is set in the year 1985, which is one year after the Transformers toy line launched with Generation 1 (G1), and a year after the Transformers animated series launched in the fall of 1984. How that specific year ties into this story remains to be seen.
Travis Knight has signed on to direct, working from a script by Christina Hodson (Shut In), who was part of the Transformers writers room that developed a whopping 14 new Transformers movies in total. Paramount has set a June 8, 2018 release date, with production starting sometime this summer. Jorge Ledenborg Jr. made his feature film debut in last year's drama The Land, and he also had a small role in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Jason, who read the Midtown Science High's morning announcements alongside Betty Brant (Angourie Rice). He will next be seen in Shot alongside Noah Wyle and in director Robert Rodriguez's Alita: Battle Angel. With production starting shortly, hopefully we'll have more details on Bumblebee soon.