Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (The Land) has signed on as the new lead in the upcoming Bumblebee-focused Transformers film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He will be joining actress Hailee Steinfeld. With Bumblebee reaching theaters in summer 2018, it looks like the upcoming year is going to be a big one for Lendeborg, as several of his other works will be released during that time: Shot, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Alita: Battle Angel.
Officially, the franchise has only focused on a broader cast of Transformers (totaling five films directed by Michael Bay), making the Bumblebee spin-off a new concept. The spin-off will also have a new director: Travis Knight, known for the critically-acclaimed film, Kubo and the Two Strings. This may just be the direction that the new film needs, as Knight has proven himself as someone who can handle narrative and tonal complexity, which ought to revitalize the dying Transformers brand. Considering the worse and worse reception of the last few Transformers films (with Age of Extinction and The Last Knight earning 18% and 15% respectively on Rottentomatoes), this sounds like a welcome change.
Focusing on the character Bumblebee may also allow viewers a chance to experience something besides one giant fight after another. Bumblebee has been an essential character from the beginning, rising to prove himself as a hero by defending the earth. It may also be a point of potential narrative complexity that Bumblebee has struggled to find his voice, speaking through bits of the radio instead. While this concept has always been in the background of the films, focusing on this idea may lend something complex to the movie.
All hope set aside, fans still have another year to wait before they can decide if the film is yet another big budget flop or a notable story.