It's generally accepted that the best Transformers movie, apart from the 1980s cartoon version, is 2018's Bumblebee. A spin-off from Michael Bay's main Transformers franchise, it achieved a level of whimsy and innocence that was largely absent from Bay's garish, headache-inducing efforts. And we're due for another movie showcasing the endearing yellow Camaro.
Word has emerged (from Deadline) that Creed II helmer Steven Caple Jr. is in negotiations to direct a brand new Bumblebee movie. In the same year that the original Bumblebee was released, Caple Jr. scored a crowdpleasing mixture of nostalgia and rock-em, sock-em drama with his Creed follow-up. The movie (in essence a thinly veiled reworking of Rocky IV) brought back Rocky's (Sylvester Stallone) dreaded nemesis, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), at the same time that the titular Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) was battling with his own demons.
Despite critical apathy, the Transformers franchise has amassed $4 billion cumulatively, $468 million of which is credited to Bumblebee. The eighties-set spin-off/prequel introduced us to Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie Watson who formed a bond with the stranded autobot, very much in the manner of family classics such as E.T. Meanwhile, John Cena popped up to steal the show as a granite-faced official in search of the sweet-natured Transformer. The original movie was helmed by Travis Knight, a veteran of Laika animation who helmed the acclaimed Kubo and the Two Strings.
Back in January, Deadline reported that two new Bumblebee movie scripts were in the works, one from Zodiac's James Vanderbilt, the other from Edge of Tomorrow's Joby Harold. Ultimately, Harold's draft is the one that has won out, and final negotiations are underway as to Caple Jr.'s involvement. Distributor Paramount and Transformers franchise owner Hasbro will no doubt be looking to continue the lucrative vein of success. And presumably they'll continue to steer the series further away from Michael Bay's aggressively overbearing style.
The news follows confirmation of another Transformers spin-off from Toy Story 4's Josh Cooley. Announced back in April 2020, this will be an animated prequel that will take place on the Transformers' home planet of Cybertron. In Deadline's words, the film "revolves around the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron".
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