Hailee Steinfeld befriends, protects ‘Bumblebee’

In Paramount Pictures’ new action-adventure Bumblebee, which has been hailed by US critics as the “best Transformers movie ever,” Oscar®-nominated Filipino actress Hailee Steinfeld plays Charlie, the prequel’s lonely and somewhat lost protagonist who forms a special bond with Bumblebee/B-127 (voiced by Dylan O’Brien).

For the pivotal role of Charlie, the filmmakers looked for someone who could not only carry a massive global action franchise, but also a skilled performer who could connect with the audience on an emotional level. Steinfeld was their first choice, says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “Our goal was to create a hero,” he shares. “So we needed an actor who could make the transition from who Charlie is at the beginning of the film to who she becomes. We knew Hailee would be magical.”

Director Travis Knight adds, “If you find the right actor, a good portion of your job is done. Our leading lady can do absolutely anything. She makes you laugh, she lifts your spirits, she breaks your heart. There is always so much happening behind her eyes.”

Steinfeld, who received an Oscar® nomination for her breakout role in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit at the age of 14, was astounded by the reaction on social media and fan sites when the studio announced her involvement. “I saw how huge the fan base is and realized what an honor it is to be part of this world,” she says. “It truly feels like we made something special. I’m excited for fans as well as newcomers to the franchise to see the movie.”

Most of Steinfeld’s scenes involve Charlie and the computer-generated Bumblebee interacting, which presented a unique situation for an actor. To prepare, Steinfeld watched the previous films in the franchise, concentrating on the original and paying close attention to conversations between the robots and humans. “I had more screen time with the robot than with the people in the film,” she notes. “Acting against nothing was the massive challenge. But Travis’ vision was so clear from day one. He has a gift for being able to translate the imagery he has in his head to the screen.”

Still suffering from the pain and anger of losing a parent, and feeling that the rest of her family has moved on, Charlie finds solace in the garage working on her father’s 1959 Corvette. She and her father bonded during their hours together tinkering with old cars and listening to his favorite music. “Her dad was her best friend,” Steinfeld explains. “When she lost him, she lost part of herself. When she finds that missing piece, it happens to be a robot she names Bumblebee.”

According to di Bonaventura, one thing the franchise has never attempted to do before is allow a Transformer to become a fully developed character. “Traditionally, they’re archetypes. This is an attempt to allow the audience to get to know one in a way they never have before.”

Steinfeld was happy to be a part of bringing a new dimension to the character. “There’s nothing not to love about Bumblebee,” she says. “He has so much heart, but he’s also a strong warrior. He’s a protector who would do anything for Charlie. In my imagination, I’ve built my own relationship with this robot that doesn’t exist, which is really special.”

In Philippine cinemas Tuesday, January 8, Bumblebee is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #BumblebeeMovie

About Bumblebee

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Blockers, Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

Rising star Jorge Lendeborg Jr. paired with Hailee Steinfeld in ‘Bumblebee’

After making his mark in Spider-Man: Homecoming, opposite Tom Holland, and more recently, in Greg Berlanti’s teen dramedy Love, Simon, teen actor Jorge Lendeborg Jr., now stars in Paramount Pictures’ action adventure Bumblebee.

The film opens up a new era for Transformers by combining the trademark battling robots, fast cars and thrilling action with the unexpectedly tender relationship between Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) and her new Autobot friend.

In the film, still struggling with the loss of her father, Charlie has no time for or interest in the sunny disposition and positive attitude of her next-door neighbor, Memo. Played by rising star Lendeborg, Memo thinks Charlie is the coolest girl in the world. Charlie barely notices he’s alive.

Finding an actor who could bring Memo’s nuances to life was tricky, says director Travis Knight. “Jorge is an intuitive actor, and he’s got this dazzling megawatt smile. He sees beyond what’s written on the page to find depth and dimension in the character. He’s so likeable and endearing that he brings Memo to life in a beautiful way.”

The actor found that he had a lot in common with his character. “He likes action figures and sci-fi,” Lendeborg says. “And sci-fi is my favorite thing. I would say he is much like me, so it was pretty easy to translate that to Memo.”

The things that make Charlie unique are exactly the things Memo loves about her. “He likes that she is her own person,” explains Lendeborg. “She doesn’t try to fit in. She’s unapologetically herself. He tries to talk to her, but she has no time for him.”

But once he learns about Bumblebee, Charlie has no choice but to keep him close to make sure her secret doesn’t get out. The first scene Lendeborg filmed was Memo’s discovery of the robot in the Watson garage. Like Steinfeld, he says that no amount of watching the previous five Transformers films could truly prepare him for that day.

“You’ve just got to imagine there is an actual robot there,” according to Lendeborg. “But it’s like anything else in acting: You have to make that leap.”

Now playing in Philippine cinemas, Bumblebee is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #BumblebeeMovie

About Bumblebee

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Blockers, Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

‘Bumblebee’ review: Well-made take to an overwhelming franchise

Bumblebee is more a reboot of the franchise with a good mix of character development and emotions, as well as some good action and humor.

Bumblebee starts during a civil war on Cybertron, where Autobot resistance leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) sends his young lieutenant, Bumblebee (Dylan O’Brien), on a mission to Earth to establish a base, protect the planet’s inhabitants, and await their allies. But Bumblebee is followed by two Decepticons, who wound him and destroy his voice box. On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), on the brink of turning 18 years old and trying to find her place in the world, soon discovers the battle-scarred and broken Bumblebee. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns that this is no ordinary yellow Volkswagen. As Charlie befriends and introduces him to her neighbor, Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), two Decepticons enforcers land on Earth. Shatter (Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (Justin Theroux) convince government agents, Agent Burns (John Cena) and Dr. Powell (John Ortiz), to collaborate in order to find the “dangerous” Bumblebee.

The plot is more about the relationship and journey of Charlie and how she develops as an individual and moves on from her issues about her family through the help of Bumblebee. Their relationship displays a friendship so touching and heart-warming that it will leave one feeling good all over again. This works in large part because of the depth of Steinfeld’s performance. We haven’t seen such a well-realized character like Charlie in any of the previous Transformers films.

Director Travis Knight helms a wonderful film that reflects refreshing take on a Transformers story. There is so much to love about this that one can say it’s even better than the past franchise. This film doesn’t feel completely chaotic and fast-paced. The humor is perfectly balanced that there’s never a corny moment. Plus, it is a family-appropriate film devoid of jokes with sexual references. It’s a complete reboot: a revolution in the Transformer cinematic world. It’s much more sensitive and softer this time around. A dream-come-true for original fans and a fresh new start for young fans.

Bumblebee is the film we’ve finally been looking for in the Transformers franchise. It is accurate, and a great representation of what a classic Transformers movie should be. The film has a good plot, a great soundtrack, and impressive visual effects. The action sequences are absolutely outstanding, wonderfully choreographed and not just a bunch of metal-against-metal crashing. The sequence of scenes is much more refined and easier to follow. The cast performance is appealing and the throwback to 1980’s pop culture—especially the classic cars and music—appear to be very sentimental. When the film wants to be heartwarming or serious. this one handles it correctly. Such a redemption for a bloating franchise in the process.

Bumblebee is indeed charming and well made with a heart. It sets on a promising new path, inevitably with future installments (like multiple prequels and spin-offs). Definitely a must-watch for solid Transformers fans!


5 out of 5 stars

Directed by Travis Knight. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, Dylan O’Brien, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, and Peter Cullen. Runtime: 114 minutes

SM Cinema welcomes 2019 with blockbusters ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ ‘Bumblebee’

 SM Cinema welcomes 2019 with a bang as it brings you adventure, action and excitement in upcoming blockbuster flicks Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns and Paramount Pictures’ Bumblebee!

A sequel to Walt Disney’s 1964 classic, Mary Poppins, the world’s favorite magical nanny is back and will surely drive us again to an adventure of a lifetime.

Set in the 1930’s London, Mary Poppins Returns follows the now-adults Jane (Jane Mortimer) and Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) together with Michael’s children as they face a personal loss and a family problem. In the time the family needs her the most, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) is back to the rescue to help the family and cope with the most difficult time of their lives.

Another new film to open our 2019 is the latest movie offering from the Transformers’ franchise focusing on the adventures of one of the most favorite Autobots, Bumblebee!

A prequel movie set in 1987, B-127 also known as Bumblebee, is on the run after a civil war in their home planet, Cybertron. Bumblebee crashed in California and was found by Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) under a yellow Volkswagen Beetle disguise. Discovering that Bumblebee is not just an ordinary car, Charlie will help Bumblebee on his mission to protect Earth from Decepticons.

Catch Mary Poppins Returns and Bumblebee on January 8 at IMAX theatres, Director’s Club and SM Cinema branches nationwide. Book your tickets through the website, www.smcinema.com or download the SM Cinema mobile app.  You may also follow /SMCinema on Facebook and @SM_Cinema on Instagram for updates!

John Cena is a man on a mission in ‘Bumblebee’

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar John Cena, best known outside the wrestling ring for his roles in the hit comedies Blockers and Trainwreck, brings the right balance of toughness and empathy to his Bumblebee character, Agent Jack Burns.

In the most critically acclaimed film in the Transformers franchise so far, Cena plays a high-ranking military officer in Sector 7, a top-secret government agency that deals with extraterrestrial technology and threats. He will stop at nothing to bring Bumblebee — or B-127 as he knows him — to justice for his perceived crimes.

“John was something of a revelation for me,” says director Travis Knight. “He is a terrific actor. I knew he was great with comedy, but this role calls for something different. His physical presence is undeniable, but he needed to show that he has empathy and heart as well.”

Like his character Agent Burns, Cena puts maximum effort behind everything he does, including coming up with a backstory for his character. According to the actor, Burns is a lone-wolf military professional who came up through the ranks. “He will complete his mission at all cost and he brings a whole hell of a lot of equipment to do it,” says Cena.

Burns believes he is fighting for the good of the nation and the world, the actor adds, but sometimes his ideology is so narrow that he doesn’t see everything going on around him. “I’ve always wanted to show a little more dimension and play a conflicted character,” says Cena. “What’s fun about doing a prequel is that we get to delve into the unanswered questions from the earlier movies. This takes place years before Sector 7 has become the established institution it is when we meet Agent Simmons in the first film. It was highly classified then, so you can only imagine how secretive it is 20 years earlier.”

Cena says the chance to fly in a military helicopter, ride with a precision stunt driver, and act with explosions going on all around him made him feel like a kid again. “I’m still a 13-year-old deep down,” he confesses. “Driving through the forest in a Humvee at full speed, skidding on roads six feet wide, looking down a cliff face from the shotgun seat, it was great. I always knew I was in good hands.”

The actor was also thrilled to work side by side with veteran military personnel hired to portray Sector 7 troops. “Going the extra mile to give the moviegoer a period-correct experience with people who have actually done this for a living is intrinsically good for the movie,” he concludes. “And on a personal note, it was absolutely stellar to have veterans on set.”

In Philippine cinemas Tuesday, January 8, Bumblebee is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #BumblebeeMovie

About Bumblebee

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Blockers, Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).


‘Bumblebee’ acclaimed by US critics as best ‘Transformers’ movie ever

Paramount Pictures’ new action-adventure Bumblebee has been hailed by US critics as “best Transformers movie ever,” boasting a certified fresh 93% in Rotten Tomatoes’ scale.  This thanks to director Travis Knight who’s added charm, playfulness and a big heart to a coming-of-age story.

Check out the film’s trailer below and watch Bumblebee in Philippine cinemas Tuesday, January 8.

A producer, director and animator, Knight’s 2016 film, Kubo and the Two Strings, had won multiple awards, including a BAFTA for Best Animated Feature Film, and nominations for a slew of others, among them two Oscars® and a Golden Globe®.

“Travis is a very skilled filmmaker,” says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “When you look at Kubo and the Two Strings you see original story telling and visual execution that make it a stand out film, that’s what we wanted for Bumblebee.”

More than anything, the project required someone with an original vision and the confidence to back it up, explains producer Mark Vahradian. “Taking a franchise in another direction after it’s been successful for more than a decade can be daunting, but Travis wasn’t afraid of the challenge.”

Knight’s experience leading his company to the top echelon of animated filmmaking was an important element in the decision as well, says di Bonaventura, who compares directing a big-budget movie to running a successful corporation. “Travis has such a calm and confident demeanor that it makes you feel assured,” the producer says. “And these movies aren’t easy to wrangle. You face inevitable storms. He had what it takes to handle it all. He also understood the exact direction and emotion we wanted from the script.”

Knight remembers playing with Transformers action figures as a child in the 1980s. An avid fan of the animated television series, he is also a devotee of classic motion pictures of the era, including Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the films of John Hughes. “The titans of ’80s cinema approached adolescence with great sensitivity, warmth and humor,” the director says. “It’s a universal struggle we all go through, whether to fit in and seek acceptance or to stand out and forge one’s own identity. All these moments, sometimes conflicting, merge into the swirling roil of adolescence.”

Knight was especially excited to enter the expansive world of the Transformers and focus on a tiny corner of that universe to tell a more intimate, character-driven and emotional story. “At Laika, we try to find an artful balance between darkness and light, intensity and warmth, humor and heart. The idea of bringing that philosophy to this franchise was really exciting to me.”

Bumblebee is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #BumblebeeMovie

About Bumblebee

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Blockers, Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

WATCH: New ‘Bumblebee’ trailer highlights incredible friendship

“One friendship can change everything.” Watch the brand new trailer for Paramount Pictures’ new action-adventure Bumblebee, from director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) and starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.

Check out the trailer below and watch Bumblebee in Philippine cinemas January 2019.

Bumblebee is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

About Bumblebee

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Blockers, Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

Transformer meets girl in new ‘Bumblebee’ poster

Paramount Pictures has just unveiled the brand new poster for its upcoming action-adventure Bumblebee, from director Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) and starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.

Check out the poster below and watch Bumblebee in Philippine cinemas January 2019.

Bumblebee is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

About Bumblebee

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Blockers, Daddy’s Home 2), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

‘Transformers’ spinoff ‘Bumblebee’ reveals first image

Paramount Pictures has revealed the first-look image of the action-adventure Bumblebee, the first spinoff of the Transformers franchise. The film is directed by Travis Knight and stars Hailee Steinfeld.

Check out the photo below and watch Bumblebee in Philippine cinemas soon.

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is produced by Transformers franchise veterans Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Michael Bay, along with executive producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Chris Brigham (Argo, Inception) will also executive produce. The screenplay is written by Christina Hodson.

Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Coraline), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen, Pitch Perfect 2), Pamela Adlon (Better Things), John Cena (Daddy’s Home 2, Trainwreck), Stephen Schneider (Comedy Central’s Broad City) and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming).

Bumblebee is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.