Who is the best Transformer? Correct, it’s Bumblebee. The trusty little Camaro who communicates half in speech and half with the assistance of sound bites from his radio is getting his own spinoff, and Paramount is looking at a release date sometime in 2018. Michael Bay, who is now in the process of choosing which Transformers story to do next, recently revealed that Bumblebee is going to be a prequel.

First off, according to My Entertainment World (h/t Heroic Hollywood), it looks like production on Bumblebee could start as early as this July. That would make sense, given Paramount wants this one for next year and Transformers movies usually come out during summer blockbuster season. So if that’s true, time to settle in to wait for some cast announcements. It already has a director, Laika head and Kubo director Travis Knight, and a screenplay by Christina Hodson (Shut In).

Bay also revealed to MTV during CinemaCon that this movie would take place before the Transformers cinematic timeline and would skew towards younger audiences.

It’ll go a little younger. And it will be dealing more with his character and it’s just about him.

When pressed about where how it connects to the timeline of the other films, Bay said, “It’s back.” He also mentioned that Transformers: The Last Knight has a few “Easter eggs for things to come,” that could connect it to the Bumblebee movie, or at least hint at some plot element that Bumblebee would then go back and address further.

What I’m about to say could mosey into spoiler territory, so if you want to go into The Last Knight blind, better skip this paragraph. In the trailers for The Last Knight, Bumblebee gets in a big fight with Optimus Prime, the outcome of which, at least from the footage we can see, looks worrying. When the Bumblebee spinoff was announced it came as a bit of a relief, because at least then we knew that he survives the fight. But since this is going to be a prequel, we can’t be so sure. If Bumblebee dies in The Last Knight it’ll be somewhat bittersweet, because at least we know we only have to wait a year to see him again, this time as a sprightly young robot lad.

Bumblebee doesn’t have a release date set in stone yet, but Transformers: The Last Knight hits theaters June 23.

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