Titus Welliver Says ‘Transformers 4′ Is ‘Not a Kids Movie’ [Updated]

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 5th, 2014 at 8:01 am,

Transformers 4 Grimlock Optimus Prime Titus Welliver Says Transformers 4 Is Not a Kids Movie [Updated]

Whether you’re eagerly anticipating or dreading the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction – the fourth flick in Michael Bay’s franchise – you no doubt were hit with a heavy wave of nostalgia when Grimlock the Dinobot made his debut in the film’s Super Bowl spot.

Of course, the Transformers series has always banked on longtime fans yearning to revisit their youth, but this time around, Transformers 4 appears to be making that its primary audience. Over a year ago, not long after it was confirmed Bay would return for the fourth film, the director promised it would completely redesign the franchise, and he wasn’t just talking about the robots. Transformers 4 also features an all-new cast, is set four years after the third film, and – according to actor Titus Welliver (the Man in Black on Lost) – it will have a darker, more mature tone.

Speaking with Nerdist, Welliver made it clear that he doesn’t consider Transformers 4 to be a children’s movie:

“It’s a bit more of a darker vision of the ‘Transformers’ world… It’s not a kids’ movie, I’ll tell you that much.”

In the four years since Transformers 3, humans have no doubts about the Transformers’ existence, and it’s likely we as a species have come to consider both the Autobots and Decepticons threats. This increased paranoia about the Transformers might play into why Age of Extinction would be a darker addition to the series. The battles won’t just be between giant robots, but also over people’s fears.

[Update: Titus Welliver clarified his statement in an official update as to not exclude younger audiences who the film will undoubtedly appeal to.]

“I misspoke in my last interview when I said that Transformers 4 was not a kids movie… what I meant was that this film, will in fact expand their target audience and bring in a bigger fan base. Following the huge success of Transformers and their toy line,  it is certainly a kids movie and with the addition of Mark Wahlberg, Transformers 4 will be the coolest in the franchise.”

[The point Welliver is making, we believe, is that there will be a little less over-the-top childish humor that didn't quite work for all audiences in the original trilogy, the first two films in particular.]

If this is the case, then Kelsey Grammer’s “counter intelligence” agent fits right in. Cybertronian technology would be a massive asset for any world power, making the Autobots not only targets of enemy attacks but possible abuse from their supposed allies. This kind of political edge could be the “darker vision” Welliver is alluding to. Plus, this new level of secrecy would make it necessary for the Autobots to really be robots in disguise and would explain the redesigns.

Transformers 4 Not a Kids Movie Titus Welliver Says Transformers 4 Is Not a Kids Movie [Updated]

Then again, turning Transformers 4 into less of a smash ‘n’ bash, popcorn flick and more of a dark political thriller doesn’t seem to add up with what we know of Age of Extinction‘s plot. (There’s nothing sophisticated or mature about the Dinobots, no matter how badass they look.) But Bay has continued to hammer home the point that “there won’t be any goofiness” in Transformers 4, so does that mean it’ll be a totally humorless entry catering to a more adult audience? Probably not.

What do you make of Welliver’s comments that Transformers 4 isn’t “a kids’ movie“? Would making the film more mature be the right direction for the franchise? Let us know your thoughts below!


Transformers: Age of Extinction rolls into theaters June 27th, 2014.

Source: /Film

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  1. You guys bashed on all the old movies for being to goofy and childish but now that they say they’re going to change it your questioning whether they should do it or not? That makes no sense

    • What article are you reading? Where did the writer question whether or not this movie should be “goofy and childish” like the others?

    • To be fair, Ben did give Transformers: Dark of the Moon four stars. Fun fact.

      • And (I think it was) TIME said Dark of the Moon was “The Best Action Movie of All Time!” lol

        Man, was that ever a terrible movie. I vividly remember ordering it on ppv and not finishing it.

        • As much as it pains me to say, it was a great action movie. Skip everything else though. But the action and effects were pretty phenomenal, I have to say. Michael Bay may suck at a lot of things, but action and making sh*t look awesome he is great at.

          • Ill disagree with that bay action blows(and not in a good way).

          • Compare that movie to Gravity……. And Man of Steel…… Then you will see BAy is good at nothing.

            • Yeah Man of Steel was terrible so that can’t be used as an example, and certain actors/directors get lifetime passes for things they’ve done. In Bay’s case he get that’s pass for The Rock.

              • Man of Steel is not terrible, but your opinion of the movie is.

                • +1

                • You fanboys are always angry when someone has a different opinion than you.

                  • Man of steel was nauseating.

                    Should have been called I’m made of steel, so I’m ok Jack. F**k everyone else, they can just die.

            • But why should it be compared to Gravity and Man of Steel? The Transformers film series isn’t a scifi drama, nor a superhero genre.

              • ??? Missed points across the board here….. There was a comment made saying Bay is only good at special effects and set pieces and I said compare the set pieces and effects of Gravity and MOS and you will see that Bay is actually good at nothing….

        • You’re insane. Dark of the Moon is an awesome movie.

          So many people hate the TF films and I just don’t understand why. I mean…it’s about giant robots fighting one another…what more do you expect? They’re great action films. If you want something more drama filled, then go watch one of the movies up for best picture.

          • My problem with them is the human element and Michael Bay has never been good at showing drama between humans or having snappy, engaging and realistic dialogue.

            If the human actors weren’t involved, I might have found the Transformers movies to be decent action movies but that crucial human element drags the whole thing down.


  3. To be fair, TF3 wasn’t exactly a kids movie either, particularly in the last hour when humans were being blown apart into skeletons and Chicago was practically turned into a massive war zone. But, since TF4 is inevitably going to be PG-13 it’s gonna be seen by kids anyway, and they won’t be psycholgically traumitized by it.

    • Ha ha. Beat me to it. :p

  4. I think it’s funny saying that this one “isn’t appropriate for children” since it implies the others were.

    TF ’07, maybe but not really after that. It’s part of why I’ve always found the “What do you expect from a toy movie??” argument really confusing.

    • I dunno… outside of the tremendously racist RC cars, TF2 wasn’t unfriendly for preteens.

      Side note: in the scene where Optimus dies in TF2, I always thought he said “I’ll take you all alive” and I thought that was so badass. I realized just recently that he says “I’ll take you all on” and it pretty much ruined the franchise for me. lol. Killing Megatron was such bulls**t.


      • How is “I’ll take you all alive” more badass than “I’ll take you all on!”? Just sayin..

        • “I’ll take you all alive” doesn’t even make sense.

          • I guess it’s similar to the people convinced the Cloverfield trailer had the words “I saw it, it’s huge, it’s a lion” and were somehow devastated and decided not to see the movie after finding out the line was actually “I saw it, it’s huge, it’s alive”.

      • I would still argue that RoTF isn’t terribly kid friendly, but I guess it could go either way depending on your parenting philosophy. Outside of what you already named, my argument would mostly be on the merit of things that were just in really poor taste in general.

        The blender robot with his laser crotch, other groin related humor, the recurring humping gag… These are all things that can be fine in the context of a different film, but don’t really fit Transformers as a franchise. I also have issues with some of the robot-robot violence, but these have more to do with context than the nature of it. It’s hard to categorize succinctly.

        In other news: Totally agree about Megatron though; of course Megatron got the short shrift in all the movies really, so I wasn’t really surprised that they gave him a sucky, tacked-on death at the end. :/

      • never at any point in revenge of the fallen were mudflap and skids referred to being black in any way whatsoever. assuming that unintelligent robots who don’t read and say stupid things must represent black people, just shows that you’re the racist, not the movie

  5. But they are selling toys based on the films, for the adult collectors no doubt.

    • It could still be for the children. Im a 90s kid. I remember when a lot of R Rated franchises had popular, successful toyline, based on adult franchises. Just to name a few:

      Terminator 2 (huge line of vehicles and variant figures from the film/universe)
      Last Action Hero

      Not saying this can be compared, but considering this was a thing at one point, I wouldnt be surprised.

      • Hmmmm. You actually do make a good point about R-Rated films with toy tie ins. I hadn’t even considered that, though I don’t know whether that makes the TF:Movie series look better so much as it makes the marketing departments for those other films look worse, lol.

        I guess the way I would take that argument to the next step is by pointing out that Those films started out aimed at adults and (theoretically) would have existed without the toy line. On the other hand, Transformers started out as a toy line and became a movie later.

        *shrugs* But then again (in truth) these films’ “Kid Friendliness” isn’t the top reason I don’t like them, so perhaps my argument is slightly dishonest. ^_^”

        • The original Alien had a giant figure released when it came out that was so horrific parents pretty much had it banned from toy stores, thus making it a collectors item. The collectable figures from some of the properties you mentioned were aimed at a niche market of adults and/or teens who might be into them with the hopes some clueless parents would pick them up not knowing any better as a bonus.

          The toys they showed for this film look cheaper then the original Transformers toys from the 80′s and do not have the look of something collectable quality (like those crazy expensive Revoltech Transformer models). They are still trying to get a Happy Meal tie-in somewhere with this movie, despite their comments about it not being a kids movie.

  6. Its what they said about 3.
    Just cuz you make it darker by endangering the protagonists and killing more humans in a city, doesnt mean your movie is better.

    • Not just transformers but man of steel the filmmakers thought having a dark tone, having a depressed clark and having thousands die In metrolopolis meant having a better movie.

      • Funny thing about MoS – Zack Snyder went on record and claimed that, in his mind, only 50 or so people died during the Metropolis battle between Zod and Supes because it was a holiday weekend or something along those lines. A bunch of bulls**t, but those are his words.

      • Cept Man of steels action was actually good, probably the best of superhero films, and supes wasnt trying to let anyone die. And unlike what everyone says, supes isnt destroying the buildings, its the world engine doing all the damage, which he takes priority in stopping.

        Whereas in transfomers 3, when the autobots return, optimus basically says, “yeah we were alive the whole and couldve stopped the decepticons from destroying this city and killing everyone for a full day but we wanted you to know you need us.”
        F*ck you prime!

        • In my opinion Man of Steel’s action was good as in there was a lot of action, but almost none of it was that impressive, and the sheer amount of it in the final part (it continued on and on and on) coupled with the not-so-impressive scenes made it drag a bit.

          But I personally find it hard to be impressed by action scenes like these anymore, maybe I’m just getting old (I’m only 26! :( ) or I’ve seen enough.

          • Zod fight was 5 minutes tops.
            The fact that they portrayed super speed, flight, super strength and heat vision impressively is worth more than condolences, but along with knockout drag out brawl fighting choreography was amazing.

            • I was talking about the entire second half, to be honest. It was a continuous show of destruction and action and stuff for almost 40 minutes, which became a bit overbearing. As for the one-on-one fights, they had an issue for me as well: I could easily detect the switch between CGI and real Superman and Zod etc, though that’s more because I can too easily spot even the subtle switches and don’t like that, so it’s less a fault of the movie, haha. Not to mention it’s rather impossible to have Superman fighting people without using CGI, which still isn’t at the level of making the CGI characters move naturally even with motion capture.

              I did, however, like the movie for the fact that there was so much action, in a time when superhero movies are mostly about 10-20 minutes of action and 100 minutes of the hero brooding around (they just can’t seem to get the right mix of action and drama these days, Man of Steel was too much action while the drama was rushed through, though since it was an origins movie and they had to fit in stuff, it was acceptable.)

              Sorry for the rant!

              • I disagree on your take but who cares.

                • Yeah, it’s just opinion, so agreement and disagreement is natural, it’s all good. :)

      • Nothing about Clark was depressed. He was a drifter. He was trying to run away from something that he knew was inevitable. However, the guy was lonely. He was never crying over his dad’s death or his planet not existing. He was just alone. Read Kingdom Come. Superman was actually sad and depressed in that.

        My issue with viewers of superman that say its terrible and he killed someone is that they seem to NEVER be pleased with a Superman film. Read his mythology. Superman HAS killed in the books. Same as Batman with a gun (one time). However, there seems to be this grand disliking of anything DC potentially does.

        Back to Transformers, I think this film could be quite good. But being that its Bay and company, Im not looking for an intelligent balance of action and strong story. Just enough to carry the film with its visuals, and thats enough for me. IMO

      • Clark wasnt depressed…where did you even get that from. He was conflicted yes, but not depressed. I wouldnt say Man of Steel was darker, but id say it was more mature than most other superhero movies.

  7. Good, I’ve had enough of humor in the Transformer movies. It was crass, cringe-inducing, and totally low-level humor that shouldn’t be there in such big-budget movies. No goofiness = we also get rid of that single character in every movie that acted like a mental patient and would do ridiculous stuff, like that guy in the office in the third movie played by Leslie Chow (or even Sam’s boss in the third movie.)

    • I wouldn’t trust Bay. He claimed that Transformers 3 would have a lot less humor, and he STILL used the first hour of the movie to deliver his trademark craptastic one-liners and not-so-subtle innuendos. A typical Bay movie runs like this: first hour – brief snippit of plot, but mostly jokes and stuff that’s supposed to be funny; middle thirty minute section – burns through the little bit of plot left to prepare for the big explosion bonanza climax; final hour – blow sh** up and throw CG everywhere.

      • Ah, yes, I completely forgot about that, now I do remember that he said they’d cut down on the humor, but it was even worse in some places. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, can’t trust any movie these days when it comes to humor, haha.

      • If I remember it correctly, didn’t Bay say that Shockwave is the main villain for TF: The Dark of the Moon? When I watched the movie, Shockwave was in the movie for about like 10mins or less of screen time.

        • False advertising so they wouldn’t reveal the betrayal of Sentinel Prime and his role as the main villain.

          • Yep nobody chewed him out over that but constantly attack JJ Abrams and the cast of Star Trek Into Darkness for “lying” to them about Khan.

            Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

            • Agreed.

        • Though he wasnt featured too much in the movie, Shockwave was pretty bad ass with that worm-like robot that sounded like a cow lol, and had an intimidating prescence, especially in the 3rd act.

  8. They promised that before you know…, a “darker” transformers movie, and I kind of believed them, especially if you try to watch that Revenge of the Fallen teaser trailer in youtube again, imagining yourself not knowing what expect,… but that trailer was a bit misleading, because the movie wasn’t any more “Darker” than the other movies.

  9. At least there won’t be any female autobots in this one. Remember TF3 they tried to introduce Arcee?

    I mean since when does robots have gender? I’m glad Bay dropped them from TF4. It was probably a marketing tie-in to sell more toys & merchandise.

    • That was TF2. And Bay introduced them because they’re badass (not really, fans, I guess). Also, Transforners aren’t normal robots. I think you’d be surprised at the enormous amount of female Transformers.

    • Male is a gender too, ya know. :/

  10. yeah because heaven forbid that a movie based on a TOY FRANCHISE be suitable for kids

      • Amen. Someone who realizes.

        • toys came first

          • Yep, the show was there to promote and advertise the toy line, just like Masters Of The Universe, GI Joe, Thundercats, The Centurions, Visionaries, M.A.S.K. and so many other toys I had in the 80s (well, I didn’t have GI Joe or Transformers because I was never into army stuff as a kid and thought the whole Transformers thing looked dumb).

            • Oops! you guys beat me to it! Darn. :P

          • Believe me, I’m aware. I was referring to his other points, because they are actually correct.

  11. Transformers two was supposed to be darker and less comedy. Transformers three was supposed to darker and less comedy. Maybe at some point, people are going to realize that any ads connected to Mikey Bay, will be replete with lies, just to get you to pay for substandard, “blockbuster” crap, and get your butt in the movie theatre seat.

    Then again, people are going to keep right on doing what they are doing. What was I thinking…..


    • Oh, and not to mention, they kept the s***** screenwriter from the last movie!! So I guess there really was no hope for this movie to begin with….

      • That was supposed to be a follow up to my other comment but it posted as a response to this one…..

  12. So i’m assuming this one will have bare breasts do to the last bikini babes in the last TF…they called those for kids? Gimme a freaking break!

  13. So, by “Not a kid’s movie” does that just mean we’ll be getting the same inappropriate potty humor again? Just saying, a few scenes from Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon certainly were NOT for kids.

  14. Of course it makes sense to finally make the movie aimed at adults! We’re the one’s who grew up in the 80s and we’re the ones paying for the tixx – just once I would like to see a Transformers movie that doesn’t rely on bad humor for 2.5 hours.

    Kids are gonna watch it anyway and love it no matter what the plot is – believe me, kids loved the first 3 for the BIG TRANSFORMING ROBOTS – not the goofy Shia comedy.

    So give the adults a decent movie to watch while re-living our childhood and as long as there are BIG TRANSFORMING ROBOTS, the kids are gonna love it too.

  15. At long last the wait is over; there is finally a CGI-heavy actioner based on cheap toys FOR ADULTS.

  16. If you thought the first 3 installments strayed from the original series, perhaps you forget that in one episode in season 2 of the original series Megatron tried to bring Cybertron to earth and enslave the human race…you know, kind of a really similar plot line explored in Transfomers Dark of The Moon. Then again Bay also skipped the episode where sea creatures (yes sea creatures) tried taking over the world with the help of the Decepticons and then planned to kill them too? Don’t remember that, well it happened? Maybe get off Bay’s case and just start enjoying movies again.

    • Thank you. I really feel like people should give Bay a break. Its a franchise about transforming alien robots. I did Bay did a fine job. People just like to complain about sh*t they have no control of.

  17. It’s for kids if it’s not rated R.

  18. TBH, Dark of the Moon wasnt exactly kid friendly. Yes they featured colorful transforming , talking robots but the whole tone of the movie was mature. It had themes of terrorism, slavery, alot of death (humans being vaporized by decepticons)and world domination. I loved that movie, I think it was the best of the franchise. Im curious to see how much darker they can go.

  19. Yeah, right. Just like when the director of Ghost Rider came out and said the movie would be like a horror movie.

  20. Out of curiosity… are there any adults here who actually enjoy these movies as movies? I see alot about special effects, nostalgia, presumed “audience,” gender representation,etc. Not much about whether they’re any good; but plenty of what I consider meta-commentary regarding the commercial viability of the product.

    I think the Transformers movies well and truly suck in a way zero budget direct to DVD crapfests can only dream of.

    Given the tremendous amount of time and money and market hogging these things do, I expect more. Something. Mindless entertainment? Not at 154 minutes. The fact that DotM is only 7 minutes shorter than Bridge Over the River Kwai is mind numbing.

    • I could post a really obvious, really simple solution for you.

  21. “Plus, this new level of secrecy would make it necessary for the Autobots to really be robots in disguise and would explain the redesigns.” Sure :D Because nothing facilitates secrecy like a big rig with bright red flames, an enormous military tactical truck, a flashy green ricer Corvette, a Veyron and an Aventador. They don’t scream “look at me!” at all.

  22. the problem with that is that they reverse engineered megatron for like 100 years and im guessing he was as well equipped as any other transformer so what extra tech could humans possibly need the transformers for. simmons said all modern tech we have came from nbe1 and that has been shared with the world already. I hate people who pick out plot holes for the sake of it but this is glaringly obvious and makes the plot of 4 irrelevant…

  23. You gotta be kidding me!! There sayin that this movie will be more “dark and mature”? THEN THE LAST PIECE OF s***?!?! That’s b*******!!!! The last movie was REALLY dark and now there saying THIS movie is going to be darker?! As if the other one wasn’t bad enough!!! They’ll probably end up killing off Grimlock or some other Transformer I care too much about!!

  24. I love the silly fuss over this whole article. If you are going to watch it then just watch it. If you already think it will be crap…it is very simple. DO NOT WATCH IT! It is just a movie. It is for entertainment only. I never understand all the arguing that goes along with any type of movies. Everyone wants to bash Bay but when it comes down to it these movies are HIS vision. When and if you ever become as big as he is then you can make a movie the way you would want it to be. Plain and simple.

  25. It would make sense to be toward adults because they were the ones who watched original two Transformer cartoons. The new transformers shows other than prime were too childish meaning stupid.

    First Transformers was good. Last two were too goofy and had no need for the parents with their stupid dog. Making more for adults who actually know and loved transformers makes sense.

    Galvatron and Unicron better be cool in this film. Galvatron better own all the autobots except Optimus but everyone else.

  26. I want to hear linkin park on the soundtrack the autobots have to kick ass to great music.