Tonight during Paramount's presentation at CinemaCon, filmmaker Travis Knight took to the stage to discuss his upcoming, Bumblebee-centric Transformers spinoff -- and to share a little bit of footage from the film.
ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis shared this account with us:
In a featurette, Knight is shaping figures which later became animated in his earlier films. The cast highlight his ability to see "a drawing on a page brought to life."
He is excited to bring the same details to Bumbleebee, whjere he wants to showcase his love of films like Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. It will be an origin story for Bumblebee and Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie.
"He's taking the story back to the bieginning, set in a period where I first fell in love with Transformers," John Cena says. The video concludes with behind-the-scenes footage of Bumblebee in old bug car form driving away with a camera crane following, and a logo for the film.
Knight takes the stage. He wanted to return to what made the franchise so exciting when it launched, which includes "spectacle" and "lots and lots of explosions." He promises there is "an emotional core the family will come to love." He introduces Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, and Jorge Lendovore Jr.
Cena riles up the crowd and ultimately thanks the theater owners for their work.
"One last thing before we give this long awaited sneak peek that I'm excited to see myself," he says. "It really was an incredible experience working with Travis...He really is a special kind of storyteller with a sensitive heart. One thing that was incredibly important to me with the relationship between Bee and Charlie Watson was that it was authentic and it was emotional and I think we accomplished that.
Knight introduces the clip, which will see Charlie Watson get her old VW Bug.
An alarm goes off at 8:00 AM. Charlie shuts it off, unhappily waking up. Her room is covered in posters. She rocks out with headphones on while brushing her teeth. In the garage, her car is playing the same song. When she enters, it stops.
A piece of the car hits the floor. She look beneath it. Getting on a board with wheels, she slides under the car. Ultimately, she finds Bee's face, which lights up in the eyes and stands up above her. She's shocked. This thing fits in the garage! They have a standoff. Bee stumbles around. She reaches for the door handle but sees he is just stumbling around and scared as he huddles himself into the corner.
She approaches and says, "Hi." Bee chirps back. He's still scared and avoiding her in the corner. "Do you speak?: she asks. Bee nods to indicate he does not. He stands up, holding his neck, after seeing the wrench in her hand. He analyzes her hands and comes closer, allowing them to touch his face. He can understand her. "What are you?" she asks. "Where did you come from?" He shies away from answering. He points to her shirt. He is asking who she is. "I'm Charlie," she tells him. "Charlie Watson, I'm 18 today. Actually, it's my birthday today. What's your name?" He shies away, with his ears going down. She rules, "You sound like a little bumblebee." That's what she's going to call him from now on. "Matches your outfit, too," she says.
Later, clips of Bee running from a helicopter, trucks exploding, Bee playing on the beach, driving Charlie around, and other Transformers cut into the frame. A red and white winged Transformer is fighting him. He uses his arm cannon. He fights fighter jets. Charlie does her best to help him. He lands in a desert.
Here is the film's official synopsis which, in conjunction with this clip, seems to confirm that the movie is stepping away from the ultra-violent spectacle of the Michael Bey films and taking on a more nostalgia-inspired take in keeping with movies like ET and Flight of the Navigator:3comments
On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.
Bumblebee will hit theaters on December 21.