WATCH: Paramount Breathes New Life Into Their ‘Transformers’ Franchise with ‘Bumblebee’

While Paramount Pictures’ Transformers franchise was rarely ever given praise from critics, fans of the genre continued to see the Michael Bay-directed films in theaters, further establishing the series as a blockbuster hit. While still making over $130 million in the U.S. and over $605 million worldwide, the fifth installment, Transformers: The Last Knight, which released last year, was the series’ lowest-grossing addition.

With that in mind, Paramount Pictures is taking a new approach to the franchise and giving fans a prequel of sorts focusing on the Transformer Bumblebee and his friendship with a new character named Charlie Watson, played by Hailee Steinfeld (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). Michael Bay is out, as director Travis Knight takes the helm, having previously directed the critically-acclaimed Kubo and the Two Strings, as well as served in the animation departments of Kubo, ParaNorman, and Coraline.

While Knight seems like a promising director, the film’s screenplay has been written by Christina Hodson, whose only two previous credits include Unforgettable and Shut In, both of which were critically-panned. Hopefully she’s able to turn this streak around with Bumblebee and will prove to be a worthy choice for Warner Bros.’ eventual Batgirl film, which Hodson has been hired to write as well.

The trailer for Bumblebee definitely has a very different feel than its predecessors, feeling like something more in line with that of The Iron Giant. Additionally, Bumblebee’s design has been simplified and is a lot easier to comprehend than previous on screen Transformers.

Bumblebee releases in theaters December 21st. Check out the full teaser trailer below and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.