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Bumblebee 2 - What We Know So Far

When Paramount Pictures released "Bumblebee" during the holiday season in 2018, the flick was billed as a period spin-off and prequel to the five live-action Michael Bay-directed "Transformers" movies that had come before it. Then, when "Bumblebee" brought in a $456 million cumulative total (via Forbes), it turned the fortunes of the ailing franchise around. The movie company had lost $100 million on 2017's badly-reviewed "Transformers: The Last Knight" (via Hollywood Reporter), which meant that the success of "Bumblebee" instantly transformed it into the future of Hasbro and Paramount's giant alien robot brand. 

So, while no official green light was announced, Deadline reported in January 2019 that a "Bumblebee" sequel was already in development. In March 2019, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura appeared to implicitly confirm a "Bumblebee" sequel was in the works while in conversation with Collider. At one point, di Bonaventura commented on feedback he got shortly after the release of "Bumblebee" that involved a desire to see more Michael Bay-style action in the next installment. The producer concluded, "I know the next 'Transformer,' our attempt anyway, is to sort of do a fusion of 'Bumblebee' and the Bay movies ... a little more Bayhem and a little bit more of the character falling in love within the emotional dynamic of the movie. One of the things I want to do — and I hope we pull it off — is, we did it with Bumblebee because he's so cute and he's so accessible, but he can't talk. I think the more human we can make these characters, the more people are going to like them."

Here's everything else that we know so far about "Bumblebee 2."

When is the Bumblebee 2 release date?

Paramount announced that a new "Transformers" movie will launch on June 24, 2022. Deadline, reporting the news back in May, indicated that the movie company has both a "Beast Wars" spin-off from writer James Vanderbilt and a "Bumblebee" film from writer Joby Harold in the works. Plus, a Deadline report from November 2020 announced Steven Caple Jr. would direct a "Transformers" movie. The report also said that, out of the two scripts, Harold's "would be chosen as the next installment in the franchise." That implied that the alternate script could be a mainline reboot of the franchise, rather than a "Bumblebee" installment. Muddying the waters even further, Paramount also greenlit another "Transformers" movie apart from the main line with a script written by Marco Ramirez to be directed by Angel Manuel Soto (via The Hollywood Reporter).

But in June 2021, the "Transformers" Twitter account confirmed that the "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" was the one coming out in 2022. So, multiple "Transformers" projects appear to be in the works, and only one currently has a set launch date. The first three "Transformers" movies were released two years apart, while the fourth and fifth came out three years after the previous one in the series. Then, "Bumblebee" switched things up a bit by coming out just a year after "Transformers: The Last Knight" in 2017 — but as a spin-off, it doesn't necessarily have to fit the pattern. 

Thus, the "Bumblebee" movie could be slated as early as 2023, depending on how far into production it is. If Paramount means to do a soft reboot for the series with its new offerings, it may wish to build up momentum with releases that are closer together. It's hard to know until we have more information.

Who is in the cast of Bumblebee 2?

The cast of the original "Bumblebee" included Dylan O'Brien as the voice of Bumblebee, Hailee Steinfeld as Charlie Watson, John Cena as military man Jack Burns, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Guillermo "Memo" Gutierrez, and John Ortiz as Dr. Powell. Ortiz likely won't return, as his character was killed off in the first movie. Beyond this, it is unclear which "Bumblee" stars would return for a sequel — but some of the key players have shown interest in the past. 

In January 2019, Cena told Cinema Blend, "I really enjoyed working with Travis [Knight], but I love the movie and it looks like it's going to make a lot of money too, so hopefully we'll be able to do it again." At the same time, Steinfeld also told the publication she would be interested in returning because though her character showed a lot of growth: "I still feel she's got so much to say, a lot more to learn and a long way to go. So I would be interested in exploring that."

Director Travis Knight also wants to revisit the characters and appears to have many ideas for doing so, none of which he has revealed so far. "In my mind, I have all kinds of ideas for where Charlie goes from here; where Bumblebee goes from here; where Optimus Prime goes from here," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Paramount has made no official announcements regarding casting yet.

What is the plot of Bumblebee 2?

One of the changes that "Bumblebee" brought to the "Transformers" universe was a closer look at specific characters, along with a decrease of action in favor of characterization. Di Bonaventura told Collider, "The interesting part is when you set out to do something like that, you don't exactly know the ramifications of it. In this case, the ramification of it was, for the people who didn't love the movie, was not enough action. Because you're telling a more intimate story, therefore you can't."

At the end of "Bumblebee," you may recall that the Autobot reunites with Optimus Prime and more Autobots arrive on Earth. That actually establishes a different timeline than what's portrayed in the Michael Bay movies (which isn't consistent between the mainline films anyway), and could end up being a starting point for soft-rebooting the series, if Paramount decides to do that. A sequel to "Bumblebee" could create deeper characterization for Optimus Prime or other Autobots, too. Knight said as much during an interview with Digital Spy. ""In my mind, I wanted to make sure the movie was a standalone, but I imagined adventures to come," Knight said. "You definitely could take those moments and branch off in different directions using that idea, like seeing a Gen One Jazz or a Gen One Optimus Prime and telling a different kind of story there. Just as a fan, I would love to see that."

Paramount and its producers have offered no information on a potential storyline for "Bumblebee 2," so fans may have to wait to get clarity about how the "Transformers" movies evolve going forward.