“Bumblebee” Spin-Off Wants To Be ‘Iron Giant’

Even though it’s the fifth film in the series, “Transformers: The Last Knight” marks the start of an expansion of the “Transformers” franchise – one with a much richer mythology and plans to go further with spin-offs, sequels and more having been roughly mapped out.

The first of these will be next year’s “Bumblebee” movie, the first “Transformers” movie not to be directed by Bay and one which takes the fan favorite character and puts him in a 1980s-set tale.

Effectively sounding akin to a prequel origin story, Christina Hodson penned the film which “Kubo and the Two Strings” director Travis Knight will make his live-action directorial debut on and which is aiming to have Hailee Steinfeld in the lead.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura tells Collider this week that audiences should expect a very different kind of “Transformers” movie:

“I know we’re doing a spinoff first in the Bumblebee movie, and that is a very distinctive departure from what you’ve been seeing so far… The objective of that movie is to develop more time with less robots in a way, and to go back to 1985 and go back to sort of the original heritage if you would of the Transformers. So it has a very distinct idea in it, and then whatever is gonna happen with the chemistry is what’s gonna happen, but it really is a young female lead opposite Bumblebee.

There are dramatically less Transformers. We hired purposefully Travis Knight, who is a very distinct filmmaker. You can’t compete with Michael – you’re gonna lose. Also I think the audience wants something different all the time, let’s keep them interested. They’re gonna get a very emotionally complex story, a very tight story in terms of its location and in terms of its storytelling. In fact it reminds me a little bit of Iron Giant years ago when I did that movie at Warner Bros. It just reminds me a little bit of that where it was very contained and yet it didn’t feel small.”

An “Iron Giant”-esque film with a smaller contained story and from the LAIKA chief and director of “Kubo and the Two Strings” certainly sounds like a welcome change from the loud, set piece heavy and not unfairly criticised main series sequels.

“Transformers: the Last Knight” opens this week, “Bumblebee” is slated for June 2018.