"Transformers 4" Blowing Up Screens in 2014

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Distribution
November 21st, 2012

"Transformers 4" Blowing Up Screens in 2014

-- When "Transformers" landed in theaters in 2007, fans were instantly blown away. Although some expected that the film would only appeal to fans of the toy line, which launched in the 1980s, the film gained a legion of fans with its top-notch acting and amazing special effects. The first film in the series grossed more than $700 million, making it one of the biggest films of the year.

The second film in the franchise, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," grossed more than $800 million around the world, making another sequel inevitable. The third film, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," landed in theaters in 2011. Despite some poor reviews, it grossed more than $1 billion around the world, making it the most popular movie in the franchise.

In addition to making money for director Michael Bay and the studio, the franchise helped launch the careers of Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf. LaBeouf had previously appeared in a handful of films and television shows, but "Transformers" showed that he could capably handle an action film. He parlayed the franchise into a career that has spanned action, drama, and comedic roles.

Following the success of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," fans began expressing their hopes for yet another sequel. Unfortunately, LaBeouf did not feel the same way. During the press tour for the film, the actor was quite outspoken about the fact that he had no desire to return for another film. While fans wondered whether the franchise was dead in the water, the studio pressed on with plans for the sequel.

LaBeouf has found himself in the spotlight in recent years for his off-screen antics. Tabloids reported on a rumored affair with a costar and on his brawls while working on other films. Whispers in Hollywood claimed that directors found it hard to work with the actor, and some rumors indicate that the studio was actually relieved when he decided not to return.

In some interviews, LaBeouf appeared a little surprised that director Bay wanted to keep the franchise going. He shouldn't be surprised, given that the series survived after Fox left the crew. Reports indicate that Bay wanted Fox for the third film, but she decided to focus on other projects. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" proved that fans came to the theater for the robots, not the human actors.

Bay remains mostly mum on the story behind the new film, but he has let a few details slip. He will once again step behind the camera to direct the film, which will be his last in the series. The new film will focus more on the robots than the actors, and Bay claims that a portion of the film might take place on their home planet.

Early in the summer, rumors swirled that Mark Wahlberg would join the cast. Bay denied those claims, saying that although he liked working with Wahlberg and considered him talented, the actor would not appear in the film. A few months after releasing that information, Bay had a change of heart and met with the actor. He later revealed that Wahlberg would take the lead role in the next film.

Wahlberg is an interesting choice for "Transformers 4," especially since Bay released a casting call earlier in the year for a female lead. Some rumors claim that he changed his mind after Wahlberg expressed interest in the film, turning the lead female role into a love interest for the actor. Wahlberg has experience as an action star thanks to roles in action films like "Contraband" and "Shooter," and the actor has already worked with Bay on another yet-unreleased film, "Pain & Gain."

Choosing Wahlberg makes more sense when the director describes the film. "Transformers 4" is not a straight-up sequel to the trilogy, and Wahlberg will not portray a version of LaBeouf's character, Sam. The film will take place four years after the end of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" as the lovable robots are faced with a new conflict. Wahlberg portrays a man who the Autobots trust to help them battle the Decepticons.

Bay also let it slip that the talented voice actors, including Hugo Weaving and Peter Cullen, will make a return. Though no one knows the rest of the cast yet, some fans hope for the return of cast members like Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson. Even if those actors don't make an appearance, fans are already excited about the reboot. The new "Transformers 4" logo makes it clear that this entry in the series will honor the films that came before.