As Transformers: The Last Knight signals the end of the era of Bayhem, the franchise is looking to reinvent itself next year in the form of a Bumblebee solo adventure. The movie is primed to be the first period piece in the series, sporting a 1980s setting while also gearing towards a younger audience. It now appears that the fan-favorite Autobot will be undergoing a cosmetic change alongside the tonal shift when his film finally rolls out.
“You might even see a VW [Volkswagen] Bug," long-time Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura teased in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "You never know.”
The change will definitely delight the more hardcore portion of Transformer's fandom, as Bumblebee featured the car's classic design throughout the bulk of the property's history. It wasn't until the development of the new big screen take back in the mid 2000s when Michael Bay and company decided to update his design to a more modern and sleeker Chevy Camaro. Bay's first film even included an in-joke relating to the character's original bug design, when when Shia LaBeouf's character, Sam Witwicky, first encountered the robot in disguise.
Bonaventura also went on to provide a general idea of what the spin-off's plotline will be. “It’s the story of a 17-, 18-year-old girl who, through a series of events, she and Bumblebee find each other, and they make each other whole,” the producer explained. “Bumblebee’s a very loving character. He’s got a lot of heart, so of course the idyllic life of these two is interrupted by the evil Decepticons. And how are they going to be able to deal with the problem without Optimus and without everybody else?”
Directed by Travis Knight — known for family-friendly fair as the lead animator and CEO of Laika Entertainment and director of Kubo and the Two Strings — with a script by Christina Hodson, Bumblebee is expected to begin filming later this year for a projected 2018 release.