Director, Steven Spielberg has been revealed as the main reason why the Transformers Bumblebee spinoff will have a young girl as its lead protagonist.
Hailee Steinfeld's Charlie will be the human befriending the titular hero during his early days stranded on Earth in the '80s, and according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Spielberg made the recommendation to freshen up the Paramount Pictures' property, which di Bonaventura admitted needing saving.
“Steven had always had an idea that a young girl and Bumblebee would be a great combination, so we headed in that direction,” di Bonaventura told Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s nice it’s changing,” di Bonaventura added, while also acknowledging that the Transformers franchise hasn't exactly had too many strong roles for women, something fans often criticized it for, along with claims of objectification in Michael Bay's previous films. “When we were debating it, the idea of a young girl seemed to us to be a real change in our direction.”
Steinfeld fills the Shia LaBeouf role in Bumblebee, while also building on the screen-time Isabela Moner's Izabella had with the titular Autobot in the disappointing Transformers: The Last Knight.
Director Travis Knight may also be pulling from 2007's Transformers: Animated series, which saw Bumblebee befriended by a young girl, Sari Sumac, in what's undoubtedly a progressive move for the series, and one the studio hopes will spark renewed interest for future spinoffs.
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.