We’re starting to get a clearer picture of how Transformers 4 will (and won’t) be a departure from previous installments in the Hasbro product-based franchise. Director Michael Bay’s supposedly final Transformers flick – which is being scripted by Dark of the Moon screenwriter Ehren Kruger – takes place some four years after the destruction of Chicago in the third movie, with some new Autobots (as dictated by weak TF3 toy sales) and featuring an entirely-revamped human cast that includes Mark Wahlberg (score one for the Internet rumor mill).

Today, we can confirm those previous rumors about TF4 featuring young leads in the form of a female high-schooler and her race car driver boyfriend are, indeed, accurate after all. Moreover, Bay is actively looking to fill those roles, now that Wahlberg is onboard as the aforementioned young woman’s father.

Many fans were displeased when the initial TF4 casting rumor began circulating, as it suggests the film is going to fly too close to the formula of the first three films. However, there’s a silver lining to this confirmation, as Heat Vision reports the story “centers on Wahlberg’s character and his daughter,” as opposed to the latter character and her boyfriend. Of course, the suggestion that this installment (which is meant to kickoff a new trilogy where Bay eventually hands over the reins to another director) will revolve around a father-daughter relationship might invite a different sort of negative response altogether. Moving on…

The actresses currently reported to be vying for the role of Wahlberg’s daughter include Isabelle Cornish (the younger sister of Sucker Punch and Limitless actress Abbie Cornish), Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender), Margaret Quallay (daughter of Andie MacDowell) and Gabriella Wilde (the Carrie remake). In other words, Bay’s looking to cast either a little-known or newcomer young actress in the role – which seems reasonable, given that a Transformers movie starring Wahlberg doesn’t exactly need any more selling power. Moreover, it’s in keeping with the approach of the first film, where then lesser-knowns Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox were hired on as the fresh-faced leads (for better or for worse).

Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf in ‘Transformers’

Meanwhile, potential candidates for the car-racing boyfriend role in TF4 include Luke Grimes (Taken 2), Landon Liboiron (Terra Nova), Brenton Thwaites (Home and Away), Hunter Parrish (Weeds) and relative newcomer Jack Reynor. Bear in mind, although this casting process may seem of trivial-to-no interest for the time being, Heat Vision‘s insiders are indicating that Paramount plans to sign both the young female and male leads to “a strict three-picture deal.” Obviously, that is standard procedure for a franchise such as this – especially given that two more films are already being anticipated – but, nonetheless, fans better hope they like (or, at the least, can tolerate) whomever Bay and Paramount deems worthy.

Production on Transformers 4 is scheduled to get underway by Spring 2013, with a target release date of June 27th, 2014 in mind.

Source: THR