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November 08, 2012

‘Transformers’: Michael Bay recruits Mark Wahlberg to save humanity

Posted in: Movies

“Transformers” director Michael Bay, left, and actor Mark Wahlberg. (DreamWorks; Los Angeles Times)

Mark Walhberg, the Oscar-nominated actor recently feted for performances in “The Fighter” and “The Departed,” is getting back in the action movie game: Filmmaker Michael Bay announced Thursday that the actor will star in his upcoming fourth installment in the blockbuster “Transformers” franchise.

It’s an interesting pivot for the actor, coming off a busy year that most recently saw him star opposite a foul-mouthed teddy bear in Seth MacFarlane’s raunchy R-rated comedy, “Ted.” Instead of a debauched stuffed animal, he’ll be facing off against some out-of-this-world metal mammoths.

Writing on his blog, Bay said that he’d had such a great time working with Wahlberg on the film “Pain & Gain,” about a pair of bodybuilders who run afoul of the law, that he was excited to reunite with the Massachusetts native. “Mark is awesome,” Bay wrote. “An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the ‘Transformers’ legacy.”

In an interview with The Times earlier this year, Bay talked openly about his plans for a fourth “Transformers” movie, saying at the time that it “absolutely” will be his last.

“Here’s the thing,” Bay said at the time. “It’s tough to find someone who’s done these kind of movies, and to have the complication of creating the new stuff that needs to be in this movie — not just characters but a new type of action, I hope — and that’s a lot for someone new to bite off. And so after this one I will leave it in the best hands possible. That’s the plan.”

The filmmaker also hinted that the story might move into the future somewhat and the story line might involve a trip off Earth. He also in an earlier interview mentioned that there would be some redesign of the robots, though he took pains to make clear that despite a new cast, the upcoming movie should not be characterized as a reboot.

“We’re taking the story that you’ve seen — the story we’ve told in three movies already — and we’re taking it in a new direction,” Bay told The Times in June.

The “Transformers” film will hit theaters June 27, 2014.

– Gina McIntyre

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