After making three Transformers movies in a row, director Michael Bay decided that he needed a break from giant robots and went and developed a film about bulky Florida residents, with the true-story bodybuilder crime drama/comedy, Pain & Gain. Bay has since returned to the world of Autobots and Deceptions, with his upcoming installment Transformers: Age of Extinction scheduled to arrive in Summer 2014.
Official images featuring the brand-new human cast in Age of Extinction – a partial reboot of the Transformers live-action movie franchise - and Optimus Prime’s tweaked design in the film (complete with a nifty new sword) have dropped over the past couple months, but today we have a whole batch of images and behind the scenes photos from the project.
Obviously, at this stage, animation on the eponymous CGI players (which includes the fan-favorite Dinobot additions) is a far ways from being finished, so its just going to be attractive humans and shiny four-wheeled vehicles on the menu for now. Even so, there is the amusing sight of Michael Bay wielding a green screen prop that looks like a cross between a bulldozer claw and trident (which shall become part of a Transformer during post-production… one presumes, anyway) at newcomer cast member Nicola Peltz (Bates Motel), among other spectacles on set.
Check out the full set of Transformers: Age of Extinction images – including the one that dropped earlier this week – in the gallery below (via Empire Magazine):
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Empire reports that events are set in motion in Age of Extinction by the inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), who inadvertently stumbles upon a buried Transformer, at a time when the alien robots have been MIA since the destruction of downtown Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Beyond that, we have Peltz as Wahlberg’s daughter, Tessa, and Jack Reynor (Delivery Man) as her racing driver boyfriend Shane, who (apparently) daddy Marky Mark doesn’t know about. Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammar (The Expendables 3) is taking on the role of untrustworthy G-man Harold Attinger, Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Sophia Myles (MI-5) play a geologist and his assistant – who are interested in prehistoric Transformer technology no doubt – and, finally, Li Bingbing (Resident Evil: Retribution) as “the CEO of the Chinese Transformers.” (Okay…)
Honestly, most of these screenplay elements by Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) feel rather cookie-cutter, after the previous three Transformers movies. At least the first Transformers movie had a decent coming of age subtext to reel you in, even if it was secondary to the action and robots smashing one another silly. Moreover, in the post-Pacific Rim world, it’s all the less excusable for this breed of blockbuster to not have (at the least) a respectable human story at its core.
Then again – it is still immense shape-changing robots destroying one another (and the scenery) in 3D, so that’s reason enough for many to give Age of Extinction a go. And now, Bay is even starting to hint that this might not be his last Transformers movie after all (big shock, we know), having told Empire that “Well, it’s a director’s world… It’s a franchise world at the moment. You know, Peter Jackson is still in Middle-earth…”
Bay has also reiterated his previous claim that Age of Extinction will be more serious and sophisticated than previous Transformers installments, having told Yahoo! Movies:
“I wanted the first Transformers to be very suburban and less cool. This is a much more cinematic one. I focused on keeping this one slick. There won’t be any goofiness in this one. We went a bit too goofy [on the last one].”
For more, read the full Yahoo! set report.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens in 2D and 3D theaters on June 27th, 2014.