Image: hollywoodreporters.com

The weary response to this summer’s Transformers: The Last Knight could suggest that Michael Bay’s hectic, maximalist approach to the Hasbro robot franchise has run its course, but Paramount still has the hope that its Bumblebee spin-off will provide a more engaging new direction.

It is, after all, being directed by Travis Knight, previously best known for his quietly humane animated movies like Kubo And The Two Strings.

Then there’s the nostalgia-laden plot: it’ll star Hailee Steinfeld as an 80s teenager who finds Bumblebee, abandoned and battered in a California junkyard.

The 80s setting and the statement that Bumblebee will take the guise of a VW Beetle leads us to hope that the character will be modeled on his old, Generation One Transformers look.

More recently, voice actor, Peter Cullen, revealed he’s working on the Bumblebee movie, which pretty much confirmed that Optimus Prime will be making an appearance in the spin-off – Prime is, after all, Cullen’s signature role in the Transformers universe.

Could the Autobot leader be taking his original G1 form, too? We certainly hope so. The Bumblebee spin-off is out in 2018.