First pic from Transformers spinoff Bumblebee reveals Hailee Steinfeld

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Aug 7, 2017, 5:49 PM EDT

The first standalone Transformers film, Bumblebee, just started production, and actress Hailee Steinfeld posted the first look at her character, Charlie Watson:

Bumblebee is set in 1987 in a California beach town. Charlie finds Bumblebee in a junkyard and discovers that there is more than meets the eye there.

Bumblebee marks the first Transformers film not directed by Michael Bay. Instead, Travis Knight, who previously directed Kubo and the Two Strings, will take the helm. It marks the director's live-action directorial debut. Additionally, this film is the first in the live-action Transformers universe to portray Bumblebee as a Volkswagon Beetle, which is how he has traditionally appeared in the original cartoons. In Michael Bay's films, Bumblebee was always a Camaro.

Producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura told Collider that Bumblebee will be a tight and complex story with fewer Transformers than other films in the franchise, and that Bumblebee will go back to the "original heritage" of the series. Here's hoping that means they go back to releasing metal Transformers toys, right?

In addition to Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), the film also stars WWE star John Cena; Pamela Adlon (Californication); Kenneth Choi (Captain America: The First Avenger); and Jason Drucker (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul). It is currently scheduled to release December 21, 2018.