Hailee Steinfeld has debuted the first look image for Paramount’s Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee, introducing the rock ‘n roll loving teen who’s going to accompany the titular ‘bot on his first solo adventure. For their first foray into expanding the Transformers ‘verse, the studio is taking the franchise in a new direction with Kubo and the Two Strings filmmaker Travis Knight making his live-action debut as director, and Steinfeld stepping into the lead role as Charlie, a teenager on the cusp of adulthood in 1987 California where she discovers a battle-scarred Bumblebee and revives the Autobot for more adventures.
And it’s not just the new filmmaker and distinctly nostalgia-friendly setting that’s looking to set Bumblebee apart from Michael Bay‘s action-packed series of films. Producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura told us that they’re not aiming to out-MIchael Bay Michael Bay (a fool’s mission) with the action, but offer a different take on the beloved characters that will go back to the “original heritage” of the Transformers. “There are dramatically less Transformers,” said DiBoventura. We hired purposefully Travis Knight, who is a very distinct filmmaker. You can’t compete with Michael—you’re gonna lose. And also I think the audience wants something different all the time, let’s keep them interested. They’re gonna get a very emotionally complex story, a very tight story in terms of its location and in terms of its storytelling.”
The film is just kicking off production so it will probably be a while before we get a full sense of just how different this film will ultimately be, but for now, you can check out the first look at Steinfeld’s new hero in the image below.