Just a few weeks ago, a Hasbro patent application gave fans their first look at the Bumblebee spin-off logo, and now we have word about the first cast member coming aboard. Actress Hailee Steinfeld has entered negotiations with Paramount to star in Bumblebee, with a deal close to being finalized. She will be directed by LAIKA founder Travis Knight, who will make his live-action directorial debut with this spin-off, following his true directing debut with last year's Kubo and the Two Strings.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Hailee Steinfeld will portray a young tomboy, who also holds a job as a mechanic after school. Producer Michael Bay confirmed in April that this project will be a Bumblebee prequel, which was also backed up by producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, although neither producer would reveal what specific time frame this movie is set in. Many have speculated that this movie will provide an origin story for Bumblebee, perhaps even revealing how he lost his original voice.
There was also a report from last February that claimed Bumblebee would be a low-budget movie, but that has yet to be confirmed. Michael Bay also hinted during his recent interview at CinemaCon that the movie would "center" on Bee, meaning that he could be the only Transformer shown throughout the entire movie. Still, that hasn't been confirmed, and aside from the director, writer, the June 8, 2018 release date and now this first cast member, there isn't much else we know about Bumblebee. Production has been rumored to start shooting in July, but that filming start date has still not been confirmed by Paramount.
This Transformers spin-off and the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight, hitting theaters June 23, are the first movies to be produced through the Transformers writers room that Paramount and Hasbro assembled back in 2015. The writers room was lead by Akiva Goldsman, and also included Steven S. DeKnight (Daredevil), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beers, Ken Nolan and Geneva Robertson-Dorsett. Helping to oversee the writers room was Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Hasbro's Brian Goldner and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian and Don Murphy.
Michael Bay would later reveal that there are a total of 14 Transformers movies that are being developed at Paramount, which all came from that writers room. Hailee Steinfeld made her feature film debut just seven years ago, earning her first Oscar nomination for starring alongside Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in the 2010 Western remake True Grit. She most recently starred in Term Life alongside Vince Vaughn and The Edge of Seventeen. She will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Pitch Perfect 3, where she will reprise her role from Pitch Perfect 2 as Emily. With Hailee Steinfeld in talks to join the Bumblebee, we could have more casting updates soon.