Transformers: The Last Knight moved the Transformers franchise pretty far down the food chain in terms of its place among the biggest franchises on the planet right now. Not only was it another critical disaster, but it proved that audiences are growing tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. Maybe the upcoming Bumblebee movie can change that, but the latest news on the spin-off proves that it is going to offer us more of the same in at least one very big sense. Even though this is being sold as a Bumblebee solo movie, Optimus Prime will be in the movie.
It has yet to be revealed exactly how much, or in what fashion, Optimus Prime is going to show up in this Bumblebee spin-off, but he's definitely going to be in it. Peter Cullen, who voices Optimus Prime in the live-action movies, as well as the cartoons in the 80s, has been promoting the home video release for Transformers: The Last Knight. He was recently asked if Optimus Prime is going to show up in the movie while being interview by Cinemovie. He simply answered, "yes."
So there you have it. Now it could simply be a voice cameo, it could be a flashback to their days on Cybertron. It could be any number of things, but Bumblebee won't be the only Autobot in the movie. That much is clear now. The first Transformers made it seem as though 2007 was the first time Optimus had been to Earth, so it seems unlikely that he would physically appear on our planet in the movie. So a small cameo or flashback makes the most sense. However, since the movie is set in the 80s, it would give a chance to see Optimus Prime in his more classic form, which could help sell some merchandise.
Plot details have been a little scarce for the Bumblebee spin-off movie, which is being directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), but it certainly sounds interesting. For one, it is going to be a more modestly budgeted Transformers movie, which implies it will likely have a more intimate story. The 80s setting will also make for something pretty different and will be an excuse to include a whole lot of nostalgia into it. And the combination of Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen) and John Cena (Sisters) makes for a pretty, let's say unique, pair of lead actors.
Over the summer, Transformers: The Last Knight brought in $605 million worldwide. While that is still a huge number, it is by far the lowest for any movie in the franchise and a dramatic drop from 2014's Transformers: Age of Extinction. So perhaps a modest budget and not having Michael Bay directing this Bumblebee movie will help put the franchise in a better direction. Or maybe not. You can check out the clip of Peter Cullen's interview on the Ramdeen Productions YouTube channel for yourself below.