The Robots in Disguise franchise is getting even bigger – and more ripped! After five movies so far, the first spin-off for the Transformers is gathering speed with another actor added to its ranks this week.

WWE star John Cena (The Wall, Trainwreck) has joined the cast of the upcoming Bumblebee film, which is set for release next Christmas. The production kicked off on Monday.

Pitch Perfect 3 and The Edge of Seventeen star Hailee Steinfeld is leading the cast for the film, which features a predominately young cast that also includes Jason Drucker, Jorge Lendeborg, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, Gracie Dzienny and Ricardo Hoyos. Travis Knight, director of Kubo and the Two Strings in directing the film.

Hailee Steinfeld

The film is set before the inception of the Transformers films, in the year 1987, where “Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie (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.”

SEE ALSO: All of our exclusive interviews with the cast and crew of Transformers: The Last Knight

The Transformers franchise has been one of the most successful in film history with over $3.7billion grossed at the worldwide box office. This summer’s entry, The Last Knight, is still playing in cinemas and has so far grossed over $568million – directed once again by Michael Bay, the film sees Mark Wahlberg return as Cade Yeager with Sir Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Isabella Moner, Jerrod Carmichael and Jim Carter joining him as Earth comes under threat again, this time from a Deception invasion.

With a release date set for December 21st 2018, the film will open on the same day as Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ latest feature, Aquaman, directed by James Wan (The Conjuring 2) and stars Jason Momoa in the lead role.