bumblebee early screenings

How did you come to diving as Charlie’s sport?

Mostly because I wanted her to be athletic in some way and to have something that she’d given up, something that her father was proud of but that she’d stopped doing. But I also liked the idea of it being something unusual, not a team sport. Something solitary felt right and something that shows that she was bold so that it doesn’t come out of nowhere at the end of the movie when she does step in and do something big and heroic, because high diving’s really scary. So I love the idea of hinting at the fact that she’s already got that facet to her character in the beginning.

When Bumblebee does speak in the beginning, how did you make his few words count?

I mean, it’s tough because it’s a big responsibility giving Bumblebee words because he’s never really spoken before. Figuring out exactly how that opening would work was really tough because we see three versions of Bumblebee in this movie. We see the Bumblebee who’s the war machine and the soldier. Then we see the completely broken lost Bumblebee and then by the end he’s kind of the healed version of himself and he’s closer to the Bumblebee that we knew. So honestly it was just a lot of trial and error and dialing things up and down and working really closely with Travis who has always had such a strong vision of who that character is that working with him was a total pleasure because we were very much on the same page about building him out and shaping his arc.

You also embraced when Bumblebee gets into some childish mischief with Charlie. Did that come from the Amblin tone?

Very much came from the Amblin tone and just from the fun of it. I love that stuff. I find him so cute. I always thought of Bumblebee as kind of like an oversize labrador puppy who doesn’t quite know how big his limbs are. He’s just very enthusiastic and excited and curious and all over the place. I love that sequence just because for me that is like the overgrown puppy that you left at home that you shouldn’t have left at home.

You’re on a roll with Birds of Prey. Was the long subtitle your idea?

I don’t think I’m allowed to comment on that but I love the title.

Did Birds of Prey evolve from the Gotham Sirens idea David Ayer was developing?

No, totally separate.

Will your Batgirl movie connect with that?

I cannot comment I’m afraid. I wish I could tell you these things but I can’t.

Your first scripts weren’t tentpole type movies. Were those the kind of movies you always wanted to write?

No, I came from a background as a development executive. When I started writing, I was honestly thinking kind of strategically about what are movies that I can write that can get made. The throughline I think with everything I write is that there are these strong nuanced flawed complicated female characters. So that’s been something. The only thing I really care about is the character stuff. It doesn’t matter what genre it is but honestly, career-wise I’ve always wanted to write big action movies. Like Terminator 2 was one of my favorite movies growing up. I’ve always wanted to write big, fun spectacle that has real heart and real character at the center of it.

How did you end up in the Transformers writers room?

In 2014 I wrote a sci-fi action spec script called The Eden Project that I think put me on the map as a female writer who can write big action movies. That was the thing that shifted the perception of me a little bit and probably put me on the radar with Lorenzeo [di Bonaventura] and Paramount. So they took the chance on me and put me in that room and it was great.

When it came to writing the big spectacle set pieces were you able to write anything and know they could make it happen?

Yeah, that’s the fun of writing one of those movies. There’s a team behind you that you know have done it before and can do it again. I got to dream big and they made it amazing and brought it to life in such awesome ways.

It’s sort of a recent fun thing. 10 years ago or more they’d have to figure it out for every new script.

Whereas now it’s just like yeah, anything is possible.

I think people are going to want to see more of Charlie and Bumblebee.

I hope so.

Do you imagine there’s more room to revisit them before 2007?

I totally think there is but it’s up to audiences to go and see the movie and show that there is a demand for it and there’s an appetite for it. I guess we’ll see how it does but yeah, I would love to revisit them. I love those characters and I loved writing them. There are endless adventures they can go on.

I’ve gotta ask, in Unforgettable, did you specify those salt and pepper shaker chess pieces in the script?

[LAUGHS] The chessboard salt and pepper, it’s amazing, isn’t it? No, I didn’t and it’s awesome. When I went on set they had that and I was just like, “I want that in my house” but that’s the funniest and least expected question. I love that.

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