After five epic movies, the Transformers franchise is branching out and telling the story of one of its most popular characters, Bumblebee, through a solo spin-off movie. In time for the release of Transformers: The Last Knight, movie producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura teases what to expect from the still-untitled film.
A Transformers spin-off was announced way back in 2016, but only recently was it announced that the next movie will be all about everyone’s favorite Autobot. From earlier reports, the spin-off will be set in the past and, therefore, will be a prequel to other movies.
Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) is attached to direct and Christina Hodson (a member of the Transformers writing group) will pen the script. Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2, Ender’s Game) is attached to the project to play the lead, but the name of the character and other details are yet to be announced.
A week after Transformers: The Last Knight premiered in theaters worldwide, Di Bonaventura shared a few more information about the Bumblebee spin-off, particularly, what fans can expect from the solo story.
“I don’t want to give away too much about it but we’re making a very distinctly different type of Transformers movie,” he said via Screen Rant. “It’s a more intimate movie. It’s a little bit like Iron Giant which I worked on many years ago.”
While there would not be an apocalyptic scenario where Autobots and Decepticon fight to save/dominate Earth, he assured that the movie will still explore relevant social themes.
“It’s a smaller story but it’s still about these larger issues, the same sort of titanic clashes occur,” he recounted.
However, a particular point of interest in the Bumblebee spin-off is the relationship that the Chevrolet Camaro has with the still-unnamed female lead to be played on-screen by Steinfeld.
“[I]t’s a female lead, the relationship she and Bumblebee develop is very different than what we’ve seen before,” Di Bonaventura stated. “And so I think people are going to love the intimacy of that movie in contrast to some of the big ‘wham bam thank you mam,’ you know?”
The Bumblebee movie is just one of the spin-offs that are being drafted at Paramount. Director Michael Bay himself previously said that about 14 more movies are being developed from the franchise. Two more Transformers movie is also set to be released on 2021 and 2023 respectively.
Transformers: The Last Knight Box Office Report
Could a Bumblebee movie, however, reinvigorate the movie audience’s love for Transformers? Bay’s final Transformers movie is not doing very well at the domestic box office. It opened in the U.S. last week with $13.69 million gross and, after three days, posted a total gross of $37.8 million.
The bad reviews have probably contributed to why it received a chilly welcome at the domestic box office. Currently, the movie has a 15% rating from critics and 55% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, 28/100 score on Metacritic and 5.3 stars on IMDB.
However, the foreign market has helped the studio get its money back. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie already earned its production budget back (which is estimated to be $217 million) in just six days. The movie has now grossed over $272 million.
Of course, it was China, the second-biggest market in the world that saved the movie from falling flat on its face. Variety reported that on Sunday, the movie has already crossed $100 million – the largest opening for a Transformers movie – in the Middle Kingdom where it was played in 7,200 locations.
South Korea, the next largest territory, gave the movie a slight bump with $13 million gross from 1,721 locations. Next was Russia where the movie posted $8.8 million.
Transformers: The Last Knight stars Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins.
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