Yesterday, Paramount Pictures released the official teaser trailer for Bumblebee, the latest entry in the series of Transformers films. And while it probably will have plenty of action like its predecessors, it may offer a more personal story as well.
From the moment the trailer starts (which is about at the six seconds mark), you get a sense that the filmmakers want us to think that Bumblebee is not going to be like any Transformers movie we’ve seen to date. The choice of imagery, music, and even the voiceover of Bernie Mac’s character from the first film provide an entirely different feel. In fact, the music and voiceover are quite similar to the way Les Brown’s inspirational speech was combined with the music in the trailer for The 15:17 to Paris. Compare the two at your leisure.
The Bumblebee trailer makes it look like the movie will be a personal story between Hailee Steinfeld’s character and the title character. In fact, there are hints that the plot could share some similarities with E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial or Iron Giant, since it appears there will be government agents chasing after the two leads. (Although government agents chasing aliens/robots is a staple of the Transformers movies too.)
A different take on the Transformers franchise could be a very good thing. In fact, I suggested something comparable for movie franchises in general when I wrote “5 Daring Ways to Make Movie Franchises Fresh” for Hollywood in Toto in 2016.
Say I create the first movie of an action franchise. The film is a hit, and people immediately clamor for a sequel. So what do I do? I make an action-free drama, focusing on who the hero is, why he does what he does and what his personal life is like. The sequel is completely set in the real world and entirely different from the first story.
So Paramount Pictures might be about to offer moviegoers something slightly unique. And if it does, it might end up reviving its heavily fatigued Transformers franchise.
Bumblebee opens on Christmas.