For the past fifteen years, Travis Knight has quietly worked his way up the ranks at Laika, from lead animator to current CEO, but the company and their films as a whole have always had a modest spotlight. Though critically well regarded, no Laika film has ever crossed $125 million worldwide, and even Knight’s directorial debut, the well-received, Oscar nominated “Kubo And the Two Strings,” only managed to pull in $69 million globally. One could understand if he finally wants to make a movie that people see, so he’s going to do just that.
Knight is making the leap from hand-crafted, original animated fare, and landing in the maw of the “Transformers” movie universe, signing up to helm the spinoff, “Bumblebee.” It will be his first live action film, and while we would love it if the Transformers in the movie are stop-motion animated, that’s not going to happen. Christina Hodson (“Shut In,” “Unforgettable“) penned the screenplay, and while there are no story details yet, I can’t imagine the plot here is overly important.
It’s an interesting move for Knight, but I bet it’s exciting for him, allowing the director access to a broader array of filmmaking tools and a bigger budget than he likely had at Laika. And it’ll be interesting to see what someone other than Michael Bay can do with Transformers clanging into each other.
“Bumblebee” opens on June 8, 2018. [Deadline]