Film

‘Bumblebee’ spinoff to open against ‘Aquaman’ in 2018

John Cena preps for the battle

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Paramount Pictures officially announced that principal photography has officially commenced on “Bumblebee,” a spinoff within the “Transformers” universe. The film’s shoot will take place entirely in California, including in Southern and Northern California.

Directed by Travis Knight (“Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Coraline”), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (“Edge of Seventeen”), Pamela Adlon (“Better Things,””Louie”), John Cena (“Daddy’s Home 2,” “Trainwreck”), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s “Broad City”), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (“Spider-Man Homecoming”), Jason Drucker (“Diary of Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”), Kenneth Choi (“American Crime Story”), Ricardo Hoyos (“Degrassi: Next Class”), Abby Quinn (“Landline,” “The Sisterhood of the Night”), Rachel Crow (“Deidra & Laney Rob a Train”), and Grace Dzienny (“ZOO”).

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.

The film is produced by “Transformers” franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (“Argo,” “Inception”) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson (“Unforgettable”).

Paramount will release “Bumblebee,” which is the first spinoff from the “Transformers” franchise, on December 21, 2018. The film was originally planned for June 8, 2018.

The new release-date puts “Bumblebee” against some big-hitters, namely “Aquaman” from Warner Bros. Pictures. The last “Transformers” installment failed to reach a highpoint for Paramount when it released back in June, but still opened at number-one with a $45M debut. The first “Transformers” film opened to $70.5M domestically in 2007, and “Rise of the Fallen” opened to a record-high $108M two-years later. In 2011 “Dark of the Moon” made close to $98M during its opening weekend, and “Age of Extinction” opened to $100M domestically.

The “Transformers” franchise has made over $3.8B for Paramount Pictures in ticket-sales alone.