Last December’s Bumblebee broke the trend that had been set by Transformers films since 2007 – it was not directed by Michael Bay.
The film was directed by Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight, who was praised for bringing more heart and depth to the Transformers characters than had been seen in the previous five straight films. Bay’s Transformers movies were known for their sexy over-the-top action and “comedy” with very little character development of the titular characters. And while the previous films did make a lot of money at the box office, there was a huge decline between the 4th and 5th instalments showing that audiences were getting tired fo the shtick.
Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura spoke at SXSW with Collider‘s Haleigh Foutch saying:
“Several lessons have come out of this. One is that we have the freedom to tell almost any story. The other is that, how strongly the audience identified with the strength of character and emotion. 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.”
While it is natural for our first reaction is to cringe when hearing “more Bayhem” it does make business sense when you think about it. Bumblebee was praised by critics and audiences for its story and character, but the film made the lowest profit out of all of the Transformers movies. As a producer, Bonaventure saw the downward trend that Bay movies were having but still creating profits, and saw the critical praise that the Knight’s movie had, and came to the conclusion to merge both ideas and create a high-octane movie with emotional characters.
What do you think of “more Bayhem” in future Transformers movies? Did you like the new direction that Bumblebee took? Leave a comment below and let’s make a discussion about it.