It’s prequel season in Hollywood. “Want a Han Solo prequel? Here’s Solo!,” said Hollywood. “Wanna see the origin story of the Volkswagen beetle Transformer?” they asked again. And thus, we now have Bumblebee.

The first teaser trailer for the new Transformers spinoff finds Hailee Steinfeld meeting her new car, a rusty old Volkswagen bug in a junkyard. But as a voiceover from the late Bernie Mac’s Bobby Bolivia reminds us, the car picks the driver. She takes it back to her shop to learn this is no ordinary car as the Autobot transforms. But this transformation is nothing like the first one Shia LaBeouf’s character watches happen in Michael Bay’s 2007 movie. Here it’s not loud and aggro, but kinda cute and sweet, and dare I say, emotional?

Here’s the full synopsis:

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.

Based on the first teaser, it definitely looks like Paramount is attempting to rebrand the Transformers franchise with Bumblebee. Besides introducing Steinfield as the first female lead, the spinoff looks like it’s trying to bring a sense of warmth and sweetness to the series. Steinfeld’s Charlie bonding with the little VW bug Autobot gives off some subtle Elisa meeting the monster in The Shape of Water vibes, and after all the noise and machismo of Bay’s movies, that sentimentality may just be what the franchise needs. The studio recently pulled Transformers 7 from their release calendar to give the series a “makeover,” so if Bumblebee ends up being good, it could be the direction the next movies head in.

Bumblebee, which comes from Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight, also stars Pamela Adlon, John Cena, John Ortiz. The film hits theaters December 21.



More From 1025 KISS FM