For “Bumblebee”, spin-off of the “Transformers” saga, Travis Knight wanted to stage a story faithful to the work of Michael Bay, but which can still be appreciated by new spectators. Reasons why Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons, did not survive the edit table.
Bumblebee : in line with Amblin productions
After orchestrating a fifth installment of the franchise in 2017 with Transformers: The Last Knight, Michael Bay gives up his position as director for the first spin-off on the terrestrial confrontation between the Autobots and the Decepticons. If the filmmaker behind Rock and No Pain No Gain keep the producer’s cap, Travis Knight (Kubo and the magic armor) takes over to stage Bumblebee.
Released in 2018, the feature film takes place over thirty years earlier, in 1987. As war rages on Cybertron, Optimus Prime decides to send Soldier B-127 to reconnoitre Earth, a planet on which the Autobots could take refuge. As soon as it arrives, the robot is attacked by a Decepticon and chased by Jack Burns (John Cena), an agent from Sector 7.
B-127 comes out of it in extremis and just before collapsing, it transforms into Ladybug. Young mechanic Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) discovers the dilapidated car in the garage of his old friend Hank, who gives it to him for his eighteenth birthday. She realizes very quickly that it is not a simple vehicle and names it Bumblebee. Two Decepticons, Dropkick and Shatter, spot the reactivated Transformer. They allied with Sector 7 to track it down and eliminate it.
Adopting a different aesthetic of its predecessors, especially in its representation of robots which is closer to cartoons on this universe, Bumblebee also enjoys the shimmering colors of California. Set at the end of the 80s, the film conjures up vintage imagery and multiplies the nods to certain Amblin productions such as Gremlins, Who Wants Roger Rabbit Skin? Where Back to the future II.
A deleted scene for Megatron
While it departs from the previous five sections in many ways, Bumblebee nevertheless remains faithful to the saga developed by Michael Bay. To ensure continuity, Travis Knight gives up certain desires. During the battle on Cybertron which opens the feature film, the director thinks for example of a brutal arrival of Megatron, the great enemy of Optimus Prime. Corn for consistency, the filmmaker abandons this idea, the Decepticon being already supposed to be frozen at the Hoover Dam. He explains about this to the site io9 :
I had this storyboarded passage in which we saw Megatron land as Sauron, blowing everything up and devastating everything. But even though I really wanted to see Megatron (Generation 1) on the battlefield during the fall of Cybertron, I couldn’t.
Travis Knight is also considering a scene in which Megatron would have appeared, cryogenized, in the Hoover Dam. Again, he prefers not to include it in Bumblebee, so as not to lose the neophyte spectators. Asked by Den of Geek, he declares :
There was a version where Megatron appeared in a scene that is no longer in the movie, cryogenized in the Hoover Dam. (…) Because our film is so self-contained and it does not presuppose any knowledge of the Transformers, I tried to give fans nods that would not hinder the appreciation and understanding of the film. those who do not know them.
A decision that contributes to the fact that Bumblebee finds his own way, while remaining perfectly anchored in the universe within which it is part.