'Kubo' Director to Helm 'Transformers' Spin-off 'Bumblebee'

'Kubo' Director to Helm 'Transformers' Spin-off 'Bumblebee'

Mar 03, 2017

Travis Knight

Travis Knight (above), who directed the animated adventure Kubo and the Two Strings to great critical and popular success, as well as two Academy Award nominations, will helm Bumblebee, according to Deadline. It's the first spin-off movie from the Transformers franchise and also the first Transformers movie not to be directed by Michael Bay. .

Bumblebee is based on a script by Christina Hodson (Shut In) and revolves around a lovable character. In the first two Transformers movie, Bumblebee served as a personal guard of human hero Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), often transforming into a snazzy Camaro. In time he began taking on other missions and will appear in Transformers: The Last Knight, due in theaters on June 23.

The selection of Knight as director may suggest that the solo movie will be aimed at younger viewers. Bumblebee was initially portrayed as a mascot type of character, younger and less experienced than the other Autobots. Knight serves as president and CEO of Laika, a company that focuses on stop-motion animated projects; their credits include Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls. So Knight is well-versed in reaching younger viewers, but also in making movies that appeal to older audiences as well.

Of interest, back in August 2016, Knight said: "I take a firm stand against sequels. My industry brethren are a little shocked at how firmly I’m committed to not doing sequels. Of course there are great sequels. Godfather II, The Empire Strikes Back. But I think if you look at where our industry is going, it’s dominated by franchises and brands, re-dos, re-makes, sequels and prequels, where all these old presents are re-wrapped and offered up as new gifts. … I want to tell new and original stories."

Transformers: Age of Extinction

What story will the Transformers spin-off be telling that struck Knight as "new and original"? Bumblebee is scheduled for theatrical release on June 8, 2018.

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