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'80s-Era Optimus Prime Appears in Bumblebee Transformers Spinoff

Transform and roll out -- the  Autobots have returned.

During the Friday night panel of Paramount and Hasbro's Bumblebee at Comic-Con International in San Diego, new footage from the Transformers spin-off film was unveiled. While no new trailers were released, and while the footage will not be available for the general public to see, word did come out of the panel via Twitter -- and it contains a delightful surprise.

According to multiple sources in attendance at the panel, the G1 version of Optimus Prime appears in the film. While it's not clear in which capacity the fan-favorite leader of the Autobots factors into the film, word is that the character is seen in hologram form. This would make a lot of sense, considering that the film takes place in 1987, a good 20 years before Optimus Prime would fly from Cybertron to Earth.

It's likely that Optimus does not have a big role in the film. His appearance is most probably a cameo, but it's still a nice touch that connects to the larger narrative of the Transformers universe.

RELATED: Bumblebee: First Look At the Film’s New Decepticons

On top of the Optimus reveal, Paramount has also unveiled a new Comic-Con poster for the Bumblebee film, featuring the title Autobot in his yellow Beetle form.

RELATED: Paramount Eying Optimus Prime Spinoff — If Bumblebee Succeeds

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) from a script by Christina Hodson, Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Pamela Adlon, Jason Drucker, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, Ricardo Hoyos and Gracie Dzienny. The film is scheduled for release on Dec. 21.

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