For many a filmgoer, the Transformers movies represent the modern Hollywood blockbuster at its most exhausting and unpleasant, and after the underwhelming box office returns of Transformers: The Last Knight, the pressure is on Bumblebee to mend the public image of this sci-fi series.
Fortunately, the Travis Knight-helmed spinoff is so far looking to be a more agreeable affair than the films that came before it, and has already earned the curiosity of some of the franchise’s long-time detractors. Among the new converts is writer, director, and podcaster Kevin Smith, who took to Twitter to express his enthusiasm for the latest Bumblebee trailer:
“I’ve never really gotten into the @transformers movies but the @bumblebeemovie trailers are changing that! My God, this looks wonderful! Elias from Clerks II would be in tears (because I sure am)!”
That last part is a reference to a dispute between Elias and Randal in Smith’s 2006 film Clerks II, which saw Elias defend the Transformers cartoons as “a gift from God.”
While plenty of the cartoon’s biggest devotees wouldn’t say the same about the live action movies, Bumblebee could be the release to turn things around, with the promotional footage so far suggesting that the prequel will bring some much needed heart to the series.
While Optimus Prime, Soundwave and other familiar bots will have parts to play in the upcoming movie, the primary emphasis looks to be on the relationship between the film’s titular yellow VW Bug and the teenage Charlie Watson, the latter played by Hailee Steinfeld. After six films of wearying ‘bigger is better’ spectacle, the shift to a smaller scaled story can only come as a relief.
Bumblebee will be hitting theaters on December 21st, 2019, though the future of the Transformers franchise beyond that remains unclear. An Optimus Prime spinoff, anyone?