Now that Mark Wahlberg is out, the Transformers franchise is in dire need of another white male actor who has giant biceps, hails from Massachusetts and whose former career path involved rapping while shirtless. Enter John Cena, who has officially signed on for a lead role in the ’80s-set Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, which has additionally been pushed back from its previous summer 2018 release date and given a more festive December date.

Per THR, John Cena has taken a lead role opposite Hailee Steinfeld in Bumblebee, the first spinoff from the wildly successful Transformers films. Unlike Michael Bay’s core franchise, the Bumblebee movie is a period piece that’s set in 1987 and has a primarily youthful cast. Cena joins an ensemble that also includes Pamela Adlon (Better Things), Kenneth Choi (American Crime Story), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Stephen Schneider (Broad City), Abby Quinn (who stars opposite Jenny Slate in this month’s Landline), Jason Drucker, Rachel Crow, Ricardo Hoyos and Gracie Dzienny.

Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight will helm Bumblebee, which centers on a teenaged girl named Charlie (Steinfeld) and her relationship to the eponymous Autobot. Here’s the full plot synopsis via Paramount’s press release:

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.  When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Bumblebee is one of a handful of new Transformers projects to come out of the franchise writers’ room formerly overseen by Akiva Goldsman. Christina Hodson (Shut In) wrote the script for the film, which will now arrive on December 21, 2018.

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