Watch the first trailer for 'Bumblebee' movie — a post-MeToo Transformers spin-off

The most progressive Transformers film yet?

THE TRANSFORMERS movie series is set for a dramatic change of direction if the first trailer for the upcoming Bumblebee spin-off film is anything to go by.

Out goes the Chevrolet Camaro “alternate mode”, as used in the previous Transformers live action films, in favour of an original Volkswagen Beetle shape, as per Bumblebee’s facsimile in the original cartoon series.

The Bumblebee prequel movie looks set to be considerably different in tone, too, with the franchise’s first female lead character; Pitch Perfect star Hailee Steinfeld is set to share the silver screen with the Autobot Bug.

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Also indicating the producers wanted to appeal more to female audiences this time around, the screenplay was written by Christina Hodson, who is now working on the script for DC Comics’s Batgirl.

Also of note is the choice of director: Travis Knight replaces Michael Bay for Bumblebee.

Knight isn’t new to direction, having helmed animated feature Kubo & the Two Strings, but it does mark his live-action debut in the role.

The 44-year-old has a series of critically well-received movies to his name in the animator role, too. He is perhaps best known for his work on Oscar-nominated films ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls and Coraline, which was also a Bafta-winner.

The new approach is causing a buzz on social media, with one surprised Twitter user saying, “A new era of visual clarity and women as rounded characters. Can’t really argue with that.”

Another said: “I can’t believe I’m about to say this. #Bumblebee actually looks good.”

A third Twitter user said: “This maybe the cinematic universe I didn’t know I needed … I am IN!”

Not everyone agreed, of course:

Bumblebee is currently scheduled to be released in UK cinemas on December 21, 2018.