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First trailer for Transformers spinoff Bumblebee with Hailee Steinfeld hits

Just when you thought the Michael Bay TRANSFORMERS were over...they were. Now, we have the first trailer for the first spinoff from the TRANSFORMERS universe, although with a slightly different angle. Taking place in the year 1987, BUMBLEBEE takes place long before Optimus Prime and the rest of his city-leveling buddies and enemies arrived on Earth to wreak havoc (and make friends with...Shia LaBeouf??), putting this squarely in prequel territory and setting it around the actual era that these Robots in Disguise originated in cartoon and toy form. Will that help make this different than the Bayformers? Well, let's take a look at some of the selling points: Laika Entertainment animator and director Travis Knight (KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS) is at the helm with an all-new cast that includes the always loveable Hailee Steinfeld, Pamela Adlon, Kenneth Choi, John Ortiz and John Cena. Knight alone is a bonus for this franchise, as he's more than proven his way around a cool family adventure film and likely has a bit more restraint than Mr. Bay (whom I respect as the fireworks connoisseur he is) in this format. It's to note that Peter Cullen is listed as the voice of Optimus Prime and is that...StarScream I see in the trailer? Guess we'll see on those two.

Beyond that, I can tell you that the CinemaCon footage we saw, which was an extended version of Steinfeld's character discovering that her car is a Transformer in the garage, was actually very heartfelt and well-executed, ringing very much of IRON GIANT rather than Explosions, EXPLOSIONS, EXPLOSIONS!!! All in all, I think it's smart they're releasing this around the holidays (and would daresay that's where SOLO belonged as well), as it's prime time for a fun, nostalgic, sci-fi family romp such as this.

Here's the official 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.

BUMBLEBEE buzzes into theaters on December 21st, 2018.

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