Bumblebee (logo stylized as BumbleBee) is a 2018 American science fiction action film centered around the Transformers character of the same name. It is the sixth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and a prequel to 2007’s Transformers. Directed by Travis Knight in his first live action film and written by Christina Hodson, the film stars Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, and Pamela Adlon, with Dylan O’Brien, Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux, and Peter Cullen in voice roles. It is the first live-action Transformers film not to be directed by Michael Bay, though he still acts as a producer. Principal photography on the film began on July 31, 2017, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.
On Cybertron, the Autobot resistance, led by Optimus Prime, are on the verge of losing the civil war with the Decepticons, and are preparing to leave the planet. The Decepticons ambush them during the evacuation, and Optimus sends B-127 to Earth in order to set up a base of operations where the Autobots can regroup.
In 1987, B-127 reaches Earth alone, crash-landing in California and disrupting a training exercise by Sector 7, a secret government agency that monitors extraterrestrial activity on Earth. Colonel Jack Burns presumes B-127 to be a hostile invader and attacks, driving B-127 into the forest, where the Decepticon Blitzwing ambushes him. When B-127 refuses to reveal Optimus’s whereabouts, Blitzwing tears out his voicebox and damages his memory core; despite this, B-127 kills Blitzwing. Before collapsing from his injuries, B-127 scans a nearby 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.
Charlie Watson is a teenage girl traumatized by the death of her father and resentful of her mother Sally for remarrying. Charlie finds a yellow Volkswagen Beetle in a scrapyard belonging to her uncle Hank, who gives it to her as an 18th birthday present. Charlie unknowingly activates a homing signal that is detected by Decepticons Shatter and Dropkick as they interrogate and execute Autobot Cliffjumper on one of Saturn’s moons. The pair head to Earth, and pretend to be peacekeepers, persuading Sector 7 to help them find and capture B-127, whom they claim is a fugitive.
While Charlie attempts to fix the Beetle, it transforms into the amnesiac B-127, whom she befriends and nicknames “Bumblebee”. They unlock a message from Optimus urging Bumblebee to defend Earth in their absence, which restores some of his memories. Bumblebee is discovered by Charlie’s neighbor Memo, who agrees to protect their secret due to his feelings for Charlie. Left alone, Bumblebee accidentally destroys Charlie’s home and causes an energy spike that attracts Sector 7’s attention. When Sally blames Charlie for the destruction, Charlie angrily leaves with Bumblebee and Memo, only to be intercepted by Sector 7. Bumblebee is captured while Charlie and Memo are returned home.