EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is getting closer to liftoff on Bumblebee, the first spinoff of its billion dollar Transformers franchise, this one based on a popular character in the series. The studio finally has a script it’s sweet on, and will shortly go out to directors. This comes after Paramount and Michael Bay assembled a “writers room” constructed of his scribes who fleshed out the Hasbro universe. A late addition to that program, Christina Hodson, is the scribe who cracked the spinoff and turned in a script that will make it possible for Paramount to mount the film for 2018. Hodson was one of three female writers (Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were the others) who joined a group of male scribes in the writers room in summer 2015, as they set out to hatch ideas to expand the mythology of the universe. The next sequel, Transformers 5, is directed by Michael Bay and scripted by Ken Nolan and Iron Man scribes Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. It hits theaters June 23, 2017, while Bumblebee has been dated for June 8, 2018.
At a time when Hollywood is looking for voices beyond the male scribes that usually dominate the action space, the emergence of Hodson as the scripter of such a large scale film is very encouraging. The scribe, half Asian and raised in London, started as a development executive. Since transitioning to screenwriting four years ago, she has quickly become a sought after scribe for muscular, female-driven stories in traditionally male-dominated genres. Hodson has the Farren Blackburn-directed thriller Shut In, with Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay starring for EuropaCorp and Lava Bear, and the Denise DiNovi directed erotic thriller Unforgettable, with Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, and Whitney Cummings starring for Warner Bros next year.
She has hit the Black List with scripts three different times since turning to writing four years ago. One of those, her spec The Eden Project, sold in a splashy deal to Sony and Material Pictures. She has scripted a reboot of The Fugitive for Warner Bros and producer Arnold Kopelson, and is writing for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment an untitled feature set in that DC universe. Hodson is also writing a female-centric action epic for Nina Jacobson at Fox 2000, and has just cracked television, adapting the Japanese crime novel Out as a potential series for AMC. Hodson is represented by CAA, Kaplan/Perrone Ent. and Ziffren Brittenham.