Bumblebee Includes Cybertron, Optimus Prime, and Some Decepticon Surprises

By Germain Lussier on at

New footage from Bumblebee revealed at Comic-Con showed us more about why the Transformer is on Earth, what he’s doing in the 1980s, who he’ll be fighting in his solo spin-off movie, and lots, lots more. Unfortunately, it appears the video is solely for Comic-Con attendee, but we can tell you everything we saw.

Director Travis Knight arrived in Hall H armed with stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena, and a bunch of new footage that 100 percent makes it feel like Knight has taken the best part of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies—the action—but also added some lots of classic, ‘80s-style heart. This is a good thing indeed.

Bumblebee is set about 20 years before any of the events of the Bay films. And while this one is almost wholly a solo movie about Bumblebee, Knight confirmed at the panel that we will travel to Cybertron in the movie and there will be plenty of nods and winks to franchise favourites throughout. One such example? The panel started with a live performance of “You’ve Got The Touch” by Stan Busch, an iconic song from the original 1986 Transformers: The Movie.

The footage also revealed that early on in the film, Bumblebee has escaped from Cybertron to Earth. He’s being hunted by humans and then a Deception Jet flies down and blows everything up. But it’s not Starscream; Knight was sad to disappoint fans but revealed the character is actually Blitzwing, who just so happens to turn into a jet and have a similar design as a G1 seeker, like Starscream.

Blitzwing and Bumblebee have a knockdown, drag-out fight on the side of a mountain—that Bumblebee loses. Blitzwing grabs him by the neck, says he’s sentenced to death, and drops him off the mountain. Once he hts the ground, Bee is close to death but, just as he shuts down, he catches a glimpse of a yellow beetle, and that’s where Charlie (Steinfeld) comes in. She gets the car for her birthday and things move on from there.

But maybe the coolest reveal is a potential cameo: The basic premise of the film is that Bumblebee escaped from Cybertron for something and now he’s being hunted by Decepticons Shatter and Dropkick, voiced by Angela Basset and Justin Theroux (who, by the way, are triple -changers—robots, muscle cars, as well as a Harrier jet and helicopter, respectively). They team up with humans, lead by John Cena, to find the fugitive and later in the story, Charlie asks Bee if he has friends who can help him and he puts up a hologram... of G1 Optimus Prime. And wouldn’t you know it? Peter Cullen himself, the voice of Prime, closed the panel by asking, “What does it take to get my own movie?”

What does Prime have to do with the movie? Will we see him? “All will be revealed in the movie,” he said.

Bumblebee opens December 21st.