Screenwriter Christina Hodson Tells Us How Her Two Nieces Inspired ‘Bumblebee’

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One of the many delights of the surprisingly great Bumblebee (well, “surprising” to most people who sat through the last few Transformers movies) is that when the credits roll, there’s only one credited writer, Christina Hodson. It’s a distinction she’s proud of, since so many movies of this scale often have multiple names attached as writers, often resulting in audience quips like, “Um, it took three writers to come up with that? (For example, the much-maligned Transformers: The Last Knight had three credited writers.)

Bumblebee is a smaller story, or, as Hodson puts it, a story about a girl and her car. And Hodson explains that Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) is based on her two nieces. It’s less a story about robots fighting (although there’s plenty of that) and more about Charlie trying to fit in after the death of her father.

Hodson has also written the upcoming Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which will see the return of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. It’s another example of taking a character from a jumble of a movie and trying to do something more interesting, Though, Hodson is quick to point out that Harley Quinn is very much her own thing.

When Hodson called, she immediately apologized for having a cold and having to sneeze her way through the interview. Well, she was in luck, because I also had a cold. (This is a moment to be happy these interviews are in print, because listening to this one would be a very nasally and gross experience.)

We should just talk the whole time about how we both have colds.

A whole article on snot. My nose is so red I look like somebody out of one of those ridiculous commercials.

I assume you’ve been pleased with the reviews?

My sister has been keeping an eye on all these things for me. I’m too nervous to open one and it will be a bad one. I’m not on social media, so I have a sister filter.