Paramount Pictures has released its newest trailer for Transformers spinoff-slash-prequel Bumblebee.
The kid-friendlier newest installment of the decade-old franchise is centered around the mostly-mute yellow Autobot, who forms a bond with almost-18-year-old Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) after making his way to Earth in 1987, where he takes on the form of a battered Volkswagen Beetle.
Travis Knight, who helmed Laika’s stop-motion-animated Kubo and The Two Strings, directs in his live-action debut.
“I wanted to approach this massive, expansive franchise and really focus in on a tiny corner of the canvas,” Knight told Empire when explaining he wanted to bring “an artful blend of darkness and light, intensity and warmth, humor and heart” to the bombastic franchise.
The first entry in Paramount and Hasbro’s live-action take on the beloved shapeshifting aliens not to be directed by Michael Bay, Bumblebee is more of a “beautiful love story” between “two broken souls who find each other and heal each other.”
Knight looked to the wonder-filled films of director Steven Spielberg, who enthralled audiences of all ages with films like E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. “We’re trying to bring that kind of emotion in this movie, fusing a rich coming-of-age story with some sci-fi insanity,” he said.
He recently characterized the film as an “origin story” during a Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July.
“Bumblebee has always had the greatest connection with humans and humanity. What is it about him and us that can connect them together?” Knight said. “We find out who he was before he met us, then we see how he becomes who he becomes and why, and then what he does after that.”
Steinfeld said her junkyard-dwelling Charlie is a “typical misunderstood teenager that has suffered a major loss in her life,” who will find new purpose in her action-packed adventure with ‘Bee.3comments
“She is looking for freedom, [to] fill that void that she has,” she said. “Looking for love that she finds in a car that is more than a car. And then there is a sort of a love story that emerges.”
John Cena (Blockers), John Ortiz (Kong: Skull Island), Kenneth Choi (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Justin Theroux (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Angela Bassett (Black Panther) co-star. Bumblebee rolls out into theaters December 21.