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“Transformers” Prequel “Bumblebee” Given a Retro Chinese Spin in this Awesome Fan Art

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For a time, it seemed as if Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise could do no wrong in China. The first two movies pulled in decent numbers at the box office before the third — Dark of the Moon — went huge, grossing 165 million USD in 2011. The forth — Age of Extinction — then took a whopping 320 million USD in 2014 to become China’s highest-grossing cinematic release at the time.

There was Transformers merchandise everywhere, car owners took to sticking autobot logos on their vehicles in the hopes of making them seem cooler, and even as affections for the franchise cooled in the rest of the world it seemed the Chinese box office would still be the movies’ saviour. But then 2017’s The Last Knight posted less impressive figures (228 million USD) and was largely panned on Chinese social media and movie review sites.

And so we come to Bumblebee, Paramount’s Transformers spin-off/prequel which opened in China this weekend. Will it spark a revival of interest in the franchise, paving the way for a whole new series of spin-offs? Or will the studio be stung by another tepid response in China?

Despite a promotional push that’s included enlisting the services of TFBoy Karry Wang (watch below), it looks likely that Bumblebee will perform fine, okay, average on its opening weekend in Mainland China.

But that’s not really the purpose of this post. Instead, we wanted to bring your attention to this pretty incredible Bumblebee fan art from Laina Jia:

With the Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena-starring flick taking the story back to the 1980s, Jia has done the same in her Bumblebee artwork, inserting the character into a series of retro scenes, with Chinese characteristics:

Check out Jia’s Instagram here and see the links below for more China-fied movie art.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.

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