Sunday, July 22, 2018

Bumblebee SDCC Full Panel Video

Below is the full San Diego Comic-Con 2018 panel with the cast of Bumblebee. If there seems to be some odd cuts in the panel, just be aware that copyrighted things like Stan Bush's performance and clips have to be edited out. If not interested in watching the 37 minute long panel, the highlights can be found here.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Bumblebee Cast at SDCC Reveals Triple Changers

On Friday the cast of the upcoming Bumblebee movie appeared at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con to promote the movie. Director Travis Knight was on hand with Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. Below are the few details that were revealed during the panel.

- Yep the panel opened with a live performance from Stan Bush of "The Touch" from Transformers: The Movie.

- Travis Knight: “It’s an origin story. ...We find out who he was before he met us, why he becomes the character he becomes — it gives the opportunity what he’s about. It’s a way to look at Transformers like we never have before.”

- Knight: His animation experience of world building helped when making the movie. He also looked to G1 designs of the character for inspiration more then the Bay designs while looking to provide each Transformer with a unique silhouette and color palettes to make them easy to tell apart in fight scenes. If didn't do that then it could look like “two Radio Shacks reenacting the Karma Sutra" according to Knight.

- For Knight, Steven Spielberg's coming of age films from the 80s were a source of inspiration for the story which is a "a beautiful love story between these two characters.” (referring to 'Bee and Charlie).

- Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) is suffering from a major loss when she meets 'Bee who will help her find "her voice".

- John Cena is playing Agent Burns who according to the actor "He knows that he’s right, and that’s the reason that he does, sometimes, the naughty things that he does."

- Decepticons Shatter (voice by Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (voice by Justin Theroux) are triple changers. So red Shatter's alt modes is a Plymouth Satellite and a plane. The blue Dropkick's alt modes is a AMC Javelin and a helicopter.

- There will be a look at Cybertron (hopefully not the beehive Bay version).

- Knight said the jet from the first teaser trailer is Starscream. It is Blitzwing (not confirmed if he is a triple changer too but traditionally he is).

- The US Army, with John Cena's character are hunting Bumblebee with the Decepticons providing help (not clear if the Army is aware of the assistance or not).

- Optimus Prime makes an appearance in hologram form, not clear if Peter Cullen does any voice work.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Bumblebee Producer Talks Movie and Next Franchise Installment

In an interview with Den of Geek, longtime Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura discusses deciding on an origin movie and beginning the process of working on the next film of the franchise. Below is the highlights, for the full interview go to Den of Geek.
Why Bumblebee? Why go back and look into the origins of this character?
We consciously said, "Okay, we want to take a new direction." ...We felt like, okay, if we're going to make another of the Transformers movies that it would really have been two characters we could choose from, Optimus and Bumblebee. Optimus forces you to be more stoic, heroic. Bumblebee's the more accessible character of the two, so I think that's really why we settled on Bumblebee as the character. ...we kind of wanted to get back to the feeling of the first movie in the sense of approachability, emotionality, humor.

Could somebody who hasn't seen the Transformers movies or know the mythology very well walk into this and enjoy it on its own terms?
Yes. One of the reasons why we chose it to take place in 1987 was because it is an origin story. None of the events of the Bay movies have happened. ...[Director Travis Knight], by the way, is a giant Transformers fan, and particularly Generation One, which was also one of the reasons why we wanted to go back in time so that we could do a nod to Generation One in terms of design. ...Which, again, you don't want to replicate what (Bay) has done, so it has a very distinctive style all of its own. There's less pieces, it transforms different.

Where would you say things stand now with the overall franchise, and going forward, what do you think might be happening?
There's been some implication that (Paramount) lost faith in Transformers. Well, if they did, I don't see it because they just spent a lot of money on Bumblebee, and they had every opportunity to pull out of it if they'd lost faith in the overall Transformers world. ...It's not exactly dead. I think what we're doing is we're having a (Transformers) script written soon. We put it aside a little bit because we were all focused on Bumblebee, and that takes a lot of time and creative attention.

Now that we've come up for air, we've been meeting with writers and sort of formulating where we're going to go with that franchise. We're meeting with some of the most successful writers in our business, so they're certainly not shying away from spending a lot of money on a script. Doesn't mean we're going to make a movie, but when you deal with studios, you get a sense of the current. My sense of the current is they absolutely want to make another one. They just don't know how much they want to spend on it. That's my sense of it.

Would you say that you might be rebooting it and taking it back scale-wise a bit from where Michael went with his?
It's possible. I avoid the word "reboot" because I don't think it's really accurate, but I will give you a sense of how wide-ranging our thought process is. We have talked about a World War II movie. We have talked about a time travel movie because they can go through wormholes, so you can go to different time frames from that. We have talked about a lot of different kind of genre concepts to put on it. We have talked about going later in the timeline. What would that look like?
To bring a little counter/context to his small sales pitch - yes Paramount did lose some faith in Transformers. Bumblebee is the result with a budget that is nearly 50% smaller then the previous movies with the saving made by reducing the cast (aka only 4 Transformers), simplifying the transformation sequences (hence the "less pieces" since each digital "piece" has a cost), far less globe trotting with mostly sticking to one setting, and other things (including casting choices). This isn't a knock as some of the best films has virtually no budget resulting in every aspect of the film having to be carefully and thoughtfully planned resulting in a better film. As for the information about the next film, basically nothing has changed. We already know Hasbro wants to do another installment, are considering a wide variety of options and right now its all about waiting to see how Bumblebee does. There will be more Transformers films, of that I have no doubt. Its just a matter of when. Bumblebee hits theaters on December 21, 2018.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Two New Decepticons Join Bumblebee Movie

Here is a first look image from Entertainment Weekly of two of the Decepticons joining (probably) Starscream in Bumblebee.

The one in red is named Shatter and is voiced by Angela Bassett (Mission: Impossible: Fallout, 911) with a Plymouth Satellite alt mode.

The blue one is Dropkick, voice by Justin Theroux (The Leftovers), with an AMC Javelin alt mode.

Of note is it seems the look of the robots retain the Bay-verse detailed aesthetic while adding just a touch of G1 with more a "human" look in shape. Thanks to John for the link.
“The two main villains are Decepticon muscle cars,” says director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings).

“When the cast is too big, and you have a finite amount of time, there’s only so much you can do to create an investment in them,” Knight says. “This is a more personal, intimate, and character-driven story, so it felt right to keep the villain plot relatively simple and contained. If you keep things lean, you can add a lot of other stuff on top of it that makes it more enjoyable.”
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