The first image from Paramount’s debut Transformers spin-off, Bumblebee, has been released, and it definitely shows a shift in gears from the movies in the franchise so far.

Travis Knight (Kubo & the Two Strings, Coraline), will make his live-action directorial debut with Bumblebee, which will see the popular Autobot character as one of the only major Transformers to feature in what is being described as a coming-of-age/teen movie. So this looks to be a pretty dramatic change of pace from the loud, nonsensical movies so far helmed by Michael Bay.

The movie will also be a period piece, and is the latest in a long line of projects that are looking to cash in on the renaissance the 1980’s is having right now. Set in 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. A young mechanic Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers the Transformer, battle-scarred and broken.

Following the box office failure of this summer’s The Last Knight, the franchise was in dire need of some new life, as fans showed with their wallets that they’re tired of the same old guff being churned out over the past decade. So will Bumblebee show the way forward for the franchise? Handing the spin-off to a new director was absolutely a great first step. But it will be interesting to see if this change of direction is fully embraced by the core fan base when the movie is released next year.

Check out Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson and Bumblebee in the first image below. The film also stars John Cena and Pamela Adlon and is released on December 21st, 2018.

Image via Paramount
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