Transformers: Bumblebee to be “lower cost” spin-off

The planned Bumblebee spin-off movie scheduled for 2018 will be a “lower cost” affair, says Paramount…

You may have read the news that, in the great Hollywood universe building race, Paramount has pledged to release three annual Transformers films from 2017 onwards. Transformers 5 – directed by Michael Bay –  is coming first next year, with a Bumblebee spin-off confirmed for 2018.

That spin-off will serve a similar function to, say, Marvel’s Ant-Man or Star Wars: Rogue One – an audience-sating palette-cleanser before the next full-blown sequel scheduled to arrive in (you guessed it) 2019. Paramount boss Brad Grey has now stepped forward with a little bit more information about that Bumblebee movie – specifically, that it’ll be a “lower cost” affair than the full-blown Transformers sequels.

Here’s what he told The Hollywood Reporter:

“There are characters in the Transformers universe that can be and should be made into their own movies. We will make the first movie with Michael and go right into a Bumblebee movie, which will be at a lower cost.”

Now, bear in mind that this is the Transformers franchise we’re talking about, so “lower cost” probably doesn’t mean we’ll see Bumblebee playing chess on the beach with Death or falling in love with the transforming equivalent of a manic pixie dream girl.

The last film in the series, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, could have cost anywhere between $210-350m according to the figures we’ve just borrowed from Wikipedia, so even at half that budget, Bumblebee: The Movie probably won’t be directed by Shane Carruth for $2 or anything like that.

That doesn’t stop us from hoping that Paramount don’t just go back to Toei Animation and get them to make a 2D animated movie in the style of the G1 series, though. We’ll keep our fingers crossed until we hear more.