With the newly released Transformers: The Last Knight closing out the franchise that was launched by Michael Bay in 2007, the focus will soon shift to the first spinoff of the Transformers Universe. The #Bumblebee movie is set for release in 2018 and marks a prequel for the franchise and a throwback setting.
The details emerged during a Collider interview with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who has worked on all past installments of the #Transformers movies, as well as the coming Bumblebee. Bonaventura had this to say in regard to the setting of the spinoff:
“I know we’re doing a spinoff first in the Bumblebee movie, and that is a very distinctive departure from what you’ve been seeing so far… The objective of that movie is to develop more time with less robots in a way, and to go back to 1985 and go back to sort of the original heritage if you would of the Transformers. G1.”
Who Will Join Bumblebee In His Spinoff?
The important tidbit we got from this comment is that Bumblebee will take place in 1985, the era when Transformers Generation 1 was first launched by toy company #Hasbro. Gen 1 Transformers came into prominence with the first animated TV series that premiered in 1984. So Bonaventura revealing the setting implies that Bumblebee will utilize G1 characters in the spinoff.
Keep in mind that Bonaventura also pointed out the spinoff would "develop more time with less robots," we're most likely to see only a select few #Autobots joining Bumblebee on his adventure. That said, here are the Gen 1 Transformers who are likely to appear alongside our favorite black-and-yellow spacebot.
In the first animated series and in the comics, Wheeljack was one of the main Autobots teamed with Bumblebee to embark on an interplanetary scouting mission for Energon, the fuel keeping their robotic lives from being forever snuffed out. Unfortunately, the two wound up crashing their spaceship on Earth. The scientist of the Autobots, Wheeljack stands a solid chance of making the cinematic cut due to his background in mechanical engineering.
With the possibility of fewer Transformers included in the spinoff, as Bumblebee's partner on the initial mission that lands them on Earth, it's reasonable to assume Wheeljack will appear alongside his buddy. But keep in mind that Wheeljack might meet a premature end, since we know that Bumblebee was alone on Earth during the first Transformers movie.
As another original character on the mission to harvest Energon, Mirage also landed on Earth with Bumblebee, taking the form of a Formula-1 racer. With emphasis placed on the impressive sports cars in the past films, a Formula-1 racer would be right up Michael Bay's alley. However, Mirage was one of the Autobots who wanted to return to Cybertron after crashing on Earth, so his part in the film would likely be brief.
In the Generation 1 series, Cliffjumper was one of the more unpredictable Autobots. He did take part in the initial mission to Earth but wound up endangering the lives of his comrades by attacking the Decepticons prematurely. Cliffjumper jumped the gun on more than one occasion, leaving his Autobot brethren to rescue him. That said, were Cliffjumper to appear in the Bumblebee movie, he'd probably need to be saved by Bumblebee or whichever Autobot is leading them in 1985.
As for Trailbreaker, his origins in the animated series depict him as a close friend to the Witwicky family. He bonded with Sparkplug and Spike during a mission to spy on the Decepticons, and then continued to partner up with his human companions on several more occasions.
Trailbreaker could serve as a guardian to the human leads in Bumblebee. While the film will be primarily about Bumblebee, even he's going to need some Autobot backup to keep his human companions alive.
Prowl And Bluestreak
Autobot twins Prowl and Bluestreak are first depicted as close confidants to Optimus Prime, but in all fairness, the Bumblebee movie probably won't include Optimus Prime, since he'd undoubtedly outshine our hero in what's supposed to be his movie. The duo could be portrayed as loyal disciples, waiting for their commander to return to Earth. In which case, they'd likely follow Bumblebee's lead, if not lead in Optimus's stead.
Honorable Mention: The Witwickys
During The Transformers animated series, the Witwicky family made contact with the Autobots, just like Shia LaBeouf's Sam Witwicky did in #MichaelBay's first few Transformers movies. While in the films Sam was shown as the first of the Witwickys to have direct dealings with the Autobots, it was Sam's grandfather Archibald who discovered a frozen Megatron.
However, there's a possibility that a member of the Witwicky family could be in contact with the Transformers during the events of Bumblebee, without creating a plot hole in the continuity established so far. Bonaventura mentioned in the Collider interview that the Bumblebee spinoff would feature a female lead, explaining of the film:
"It has a very distinct idea in it, and then whatever is gonna happen with the chemistry is what’s gonna happen, but it really is a young female lead opposite Bumblebee, and I think Optimus is gonna be jealous that Bumblebee has his own movie.”
Bonaventura's comments duly noted, the Witwickys connection in Gen 1 makes it reasonable to assume their family will once again be involved in the spinoff, potentially giving us Sam's mother, aunt or another relative in the lead role. While the two main characters of the original animated series were Sparkplug and Spike Witwicky, either of these roles could be swapped out for a female counterpart in Bumblebee, similar to Carly's role in Dark of the Moon.
Transformers: The Last Knight is out now in theaters. Bumblebee is set for release on June 8, 2018. Who do you want to see in the spinoff? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.