Comic-Con 2018: New Bumblebee Video Shows Classic Designs And Optimus Prime
"You got the touch!"
If you're expecting the upcoming Bumblebee to look and feel like another chapter in Michael Bay's long-running Transformers series, you're in for a bit of a shock. The cast and director came to San Diego Comic-Con to show off new pieces of their film and made it clear it's far more inspired by the 1980s cartoon than the previous live-action films.
That was evident from the beginning when Stan Bush took the Hall H stage with an electric guitar for a live performance of "The Touch" from 1986's The Transformers: The Movie. From there, director Travis Knight let fans know that the designs for the Transformers are taken from the first generations of the characters, rather than what's been seen in the other movies.
While Bumblebee transforms into a Volkswagen Beetle, the movie's villains--Nightbird and Dropkick--are triple changers. They can become not only muscle cars but flying vehicles. Additionally, director Travis Knight had some bad news for the audience regarding the other Decepticon seen in the movie's first trailer. That jet isn't Starscream, folks. Instead, it's Blitzwing, a G1 Transformers character that first appeared in 1985.
So why use Blitzwing instead of Starscream? "All will be revealed when you see the film," Knight teased.
An extended look at the movies was also shown, giving fans a very detailed look at the characters and some of the story on display in Bumblebee. The first half of the footage saw Bee on the run from the military--led by John Cena's Agent Burns--as they tried to gun him down. That's when Blitzwing arrives on the scene, attempting to kill the yellow Autobot himself. In the end, Blitz throws Bee off a cliff, seemingly to his death.
Instead, though, the extremely damaged bot turned into a beat-up up Volkswagen Beetle, which is found sometime later by Hailee Steinfeld's character Charlie Watson. "We meet Charlie as your sort of misunderstood typical teenager," Steinfeld said of her character. "She's trying to find that freedom that she craves." She's also coping with a major loss in her life, which leads her to seeing Bumblebee as a possible escape. Of course, this is still a Transformers movie and the two--along with Charlie's friend Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.)--are now simply trying to survive as both humans and robots chase them down.
What was especially interesting about the footage was how it differs from the action scenes seen in Michael Bay's previous Transformers entries. With far fewer actual Transformers on-screen, it is able to skirt becoming so busy that it's hard to figure out what's going on. Simplifying the story and the character roster allows room for the action to breathe and, as a result, feel more impactful.
Just as impactful was a quick shot of a very familiar hologram. While it hasn't been confirmed whether Optimus Prime will appear in the film, an image of Prime with a design much closer to his G1 look is shown, leaving fans wondering if it's possible. As an added surprise, longtime Optimus Prime voice actor Peter Cullen appeared at the panel to ask when Optimus will get his own movie. What this means for Prime's role in Bumblebee remains to be seen, but it's entirely possible he'll appear at some point.
Perhaps it won't be on Earth, though. After a little prodding, Knight dropped one more bomb. This movie will visit Cybertron, the home planet of the Transformers. "We see Cybertron and let me say it is awesome," he teased.
Bumblebee arrives in theaters on December 21.
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