Bumblebee will finally speak in his upcoming solo movie. The beloved yellow Autobot has been a major part of the franchise ever since the first Transformers movie debuted in 2007. However, he’s never actually had the ability to speak. Instead, the little robot that could has used other methods, primarily his radio, to communicate, using song clips in place of actual spoken words. That’s all set to change when Bumblebee hits theaters later this month, and we now know who is providing the voice.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has revealed that actor Dylan O’Brien, who audiences know from the Maze Runner franchise, as well as movies such as American Assassin and MTV’s Teen Wolf TV series, will voice the character in the upcoming spin-off. O’Brien is tasked with helping to personify the Autobot, who has already appeared in five live-action movies directed by Michael Bay. Di Bonaventura explained the thinking behind finally allowing Bumblebee to speak. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“Since we were approaching this as an origin story, we felt that it was appropriate that you got to hear his voice. That’s the simple logic that we employed. The longer term implication of that is different. But the short-term implication of that is, since we really are resetting the mythology, essentially, of who Bumblebee is. And so, that seemed to us to be the appropriate, to get the chance to hear what he sounds like.”
Unlike the other Transformers movies, Bumblebee won’t be directed by Michael Bay. Instead, it’s Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) at the helm of what will be a slightly more stripped down story, with Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect) and John Cena (Blockers) leading the human cast of the 1980s-set story. Speaking specifically to Dylan O’Brien and, more broadly, the reception to Bumblebee thus far, Lorenzo di Bonaventura says audiences have been welcoming the new entry, and the character’s voice, quite warmly.
“Dylan has that great quality in his voice of youthful exuberance, and also sort of trustworthiness. I think those are the two qualities that we wanted Bumblebee to have… Thankfully, we’ve showed it to a few audiences, and people seem to think that it’d be right and an appropriate voice. You never know, obviously that can be a sensitive thing for people. But it turns out, they imagine his voice that way.”
Technically, the character did speak at the end of the first movie when he said, “I wish to stay with the boy.” Inexplicably, he never spoke again and it was never really addressed further. To date, the Transformers movies have grossed a staggering $4.3 billion at the global box office, despite the continued hate from critics. Though, The Last Knight made quite a bit less than its predecessor, Age of Extinction, signaling it was time for a new direction. Bumblebee, which arrives in theaters on December 21, is that new direction. This news was first reported by IGN.