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John Cena to join Hailee Steinfeld in Transformers spin-off Bumblebee

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Story by Jack Foley

JOHN Cena is to line up alongside Hailee Steinfeld in Transformers spin-off Bumblebee.

The film will also feature a young cast comprised of Jorge Lendeborg, Jason Drucker, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, Ricardo Hoyos and Gracie Dzienny.

Set in the year 1987, the film will follow yellow and black bot Bumblebee as he finds refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town.

Charlie (Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers the car, battle-scarred and broken, and quickly discovers that there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Travis Knight, who directed the critically-acclaimed stop-motion movie Kubo & The Two Strings, is behind the camera for Bumblebee and working from a script by Christina Hodson (Shut In).

The spin-off is intended to be the first in what Paramount hopes will be a Transformers Cinematic Universe that will include prequels and offshoots from a line of movies that have generated more than $3.7 billion worldwide.

However, the most recent film in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, has struggled to earn as much money as its predecessors, particularly in the US, prompting fears that the popularity of the brand may be on the decline. That said, international grosses have helped the film to earn a total of $568.9 million worldwide to date.

Cena, best known as a star WWE wrestler, has been concentrating more on his film career in recent years and was most recently seen in Doug Liman’s The Wall opposite Aaron Taylor-Johnson, as well as HBO’s film Tour de Pharmacy.

Filming on Bumblebee commenced on Monday in California.

Paramount has set a new release date of December 21, 2018, which pits Bumblebee somewhat optimistically against Warner Bros.’ Aquaman.

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