Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Included a Cut Hailee Steinfeld Reference

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts director Steven Caple Jr. reveals there was a deleted reference to Hailee Steinfeld’s character from 2018’s Bumblebee.

Where was Charlie Watson this whole time during the events of Rise of the Beasts?

Per The Hollywood Reporter via Collider, the absence of Steinfeld’s Charlie Watson was a topic of discussion during Caple Jr.’s interview about the recent Transformers installment, set seven years after the events of Bumblebee. While there was only one subtle reference to Charlie during Bumlebee’s speech to Optimus Prime about considering the humans as friends, Caple Jr. says the scene originally went further than that. “So they had that conversation, but we went even further with it where Bumblebee actually took out the Polaroid photo of him and Hailee’s character in Bumblebee. She took a selfie of the two of them together, with a Polaroid [camera], and so we actually shot that version,” Caple Jr. recalled. “We probably have it in the deleted scenes; I’m sure we do. Bumblebee showed the photo [to Prime], and he was further pushing how tight he was with a human.”

Bumblebee served as a prequel to the initial five Transformers film installments directed by Michael Bay. Under the direction of Travis Knight, the film followed Steinfeld’s Charlie, a teenage California girl in 1987 who comes across a yellow 1967 Volkswagen Beetle which is gifted to her as her 18th birthday present. Soon, Charlie finds out that the Beetle is really the damaged Autobot warrior who crashed landed on Earth following the war on Cybertron between the Autobots and the Decepticons. As Charlie befriends the Autobot and gives him his famous name, Bumblebee gets hunted down by Decepticons Shatter and Dropkick as well as members of the secret government agency Sector 7.

Despite the glowing reviews it received in contrast to the previous installments under Michael Bay’s direction, Bumblebee made the lowest numbers in the Transformers film franchise, grossing $468 million worldwide. Initially, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura announced plans for a direct sequel. The direction shifted, however, to the ’90s-set Rise of the Beasts with actors Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback as the new human allies to the Autobots and Maximals. But Caple Jr. sees potential to bring Steinfeld back into the Transformers world soon.

“I like Hailee Steinfeld,” Caple Jr. said. “She’s a great actress. I have not met her, but the way our movie ends, there’s always possibilities. Maybe she’s too busy in the Marvel world, but she’s a wonderful actress and I would definitely love to collaborate with her.”

Currently, Steinfeld is a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kate Bishop who was introduced in the Hawkeye series on Disney+. Additionally, she provides the voice of Gwen Stacey/Spider-Gwen in Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and its sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, now in theaters.