[Update: Check out the full set visit clip for Transformers 3!]

The third entry in Michael Bay’s giant robot franchise is officially titled Transformers: Dark of the Moon (no “the” or “side” is involved, apparently) and will involve a space race between the U.S. and Russia – one that the Autobots, Decepticons, and average Joe Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) get mixed up in as well.

Production on the third Transformers flick moved from Chicago down to Florida recently (see the Kennedy Space Center set photos), but Entertainment Tonight was able to visit the Windy City set before that and chat with Bay, LaBeouf, and several other members of the film’s crew.

Transformers 3 will feature franchise players Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson back in action as military men William Lennox and Robert Epps, respectively, while newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whitely will play Sam’s new love interest (who may be his future wife, Carla). They will be joined by numerous top-notch performers like Alan Tudyk as a Sector 7 agent, Oscar-winner Frances McDormand, and even John Malkovich as Sam’s boss (that could be entertaining).

Two clips from ET‘s behind-the-scenes look at Transformers: Dark of the Moon have made their way online and provide a glimpse at the production, which seems to feature (naturally) plenty of explosions and “Bayhem.” LaBeouf is sticking with his “‘Transformers 3‘ is good” line and praises the pic’s set pieces and screenplay as being the best in the franchise so far. Here’s to hoping that he’s not just humoring us.

Check out the ET clips below:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen undoubtedly did suffer from the WGA strike in 2007-2008, though that doesn’t change the fact that, in terms of plot, it was a convoluted mess. We could go on about how obnoxious The Twins were (and we have) or that the jokes involving Sam’s mom getting high or a Transformer’s, um, “wrecking balls” were lame, but nowadays even moviegoers that enjoyed the second Transformers don’t deny that it could have been better.

Will Transformers 3 end the trilogy of CG robots battling one another on a high note? The story sounds better and the visual FX will look impressive as ever – plus (not to beat a dead horse or anything), the franchise doesn’t really have anywhere to go but up, right?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon arrives in 2D and 3D on July 1st, 2011.

Source: Entertainment Tonight