Steven Spielberg Gets Credit For 'Bumblebee' Having A Female Protagonist

The Transformers movies, and Michael Bay movies in general, are pretty terrible at creating well-rounded female characters. Most of the time Bay's camera is too busy focusing on their bodies to be concerned with much else. The Transformers franchise has been especially terrible with this, and while we saw some change in a better direction with Isabela Moner's character in The Last Knight, there looks to be a maked improvement with Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld leading the Bumblebee spinoff. And we have Steven Spielberg to thank for it.

Spielberg, an exec-producer on the franchise since the first movie in 2007, doesn't usually have much in the way of creative input. But he apparently felt a deeper obligation for Bumblebee, which is directed by Laika's Travis Knight and has a tone that is decidedly more kid-friendly.

“Steven had always had an idea that a young girl and Bumblebee would be a great combination, so we headed in that direction", producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told EW. “It’s nice it’s changing. When we were debating it, the idea of a young girl seemed to us to be a real change in our direction.” 

Steinfeld is playing Charlie, a teenage girl who finds a weakened Bumblebee and befriends him. The film is set in the '80s, so the Bumblebee we get is the original G1 Volkswagon Beetle.  Here are some other details from the film, including a bit more on John Cena's Agent Burns...

Bumblebee is alone. He’s on a mission to Earth that goes awry. He runs into trouble with the robot hunters of Sector 7, the U.S. government agency led by John Cena’s Agent Burns. Bumblebee is also being hunted by a Decepticon, the jet from the trailer whose identity is still being kept under wraps.

When Charlie [Steinfeld’s character] finds him, he’s badly wounded and conserving energy by hiding out amid the other rusting hulks in a junkyard. As the bee nest in his wheel well attests, he has been down and out for a while.

Bumblebee rolls into theaters on December 21st.