Paramount Pictures kicked off its CinemaCon presentation this evening with a clip from Bumblebee, the first spinoff of its Transformers franchise. Director Travis Knight took the stage along with stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena and Jorge Lendeborg Jr to cue up the action-packed teaser, which unveiled the origin of Bumblebee’s name.
“I wanted to return to the essences of what made the transform franchise so impactful right from the beginning: character, emotion, spectacle and explosions, lots and lots of explosions,” Knight said before the clip ran.
The video started off with Steinfeld’s character Charlie discovering an old yellow VW bug from her uncle’s junkyard. She begins to inspect the car when it launches into Autobots form. Bumblebee is initially frightened and shrinks in a corner before Charlie gains his trust. “I won’t hurt you,” she says to Bee. By the end of the meeting, we find out how Bee gets his name. “You sound like a little bumblebee. I’m going to call you that from now on.”
Written by Christina Hodson, the pic is set in 1987 and follows Bumblebee, who finds refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary VW bug.
Don Murphy, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Michael Bay produced the pic with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Stephen J. Davis, Brian Goldner, Mark Vahradian and Chris Brigham.
Bumblebee flies into theaters December 19.