‘Transformers’ Spinoff ‘Bumblebee’ Compared To ‘The Iron Giant’ | Film News
With Transformers: The Last Knight set for release this week, audiences are now well-drilled in what to expect from the franchise: plenty of explosions, a heavy male gaze, and a distinctly American experience.
Yet director Michael Bay himself has said that this is the final time he’ll direct a Transformers movie, and with spinoff Bumblebee set to arrive next year, perhaps audience expectations of high-octane, huge-scale action will be shattered with the spinoff set to have a far different tone.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura spoke to Collider, revealing that Bumblebee will be set in the 1980s and be far different from the Bayhem that has defined the series thus far:
“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”.
1985 was the year the original Transformers toy series was released and coincided with the release of the TV series. di Bonaventura went on to compare Bumblebee with the 1999 animated charmer The Iron Giant, signalling how far the spinoff is set to distinguish itself from the rest of the franchise:
“There are dramatically less Transformers. We hired purposefully Travis Knight, who is a very distinct filmmaker. You can’t compete with Michael – you’re gonna lose. And also I think the audience wants something different all the time, let’s keep them interested.
“They’re gonna get a very emotionally complex story, a very tight story in terms of its location and in terms of its storytelling. It reminds me a little bit of Iron Giant years ago when I did that movie at Warner Bros. It just reminds me a little bit of that where it was very contained and yet it didn’t feel small”.
Knight, coming off the success of Kubo & The Two Strings, should bring some much needed emotional heart to the film, and it will be refreshing to have female lead Hailee Steinfeld at the centre of the film.
Whether these claims by di Bonaventura hold weight will remain to be seen until 2018, but he’s certainly collected a nice selection of talent and seems intent on creating a spinoff as tonally and thematically different than Bay’s films as can be.
Transformers: The Last Knight is released this Friday, June 23. Bumblebee will arrive June 8, 2018.