Paramount’s marketing for Transformers: Age of Extinction shifted into overdrive these past two days, beginning with the release of a new poster – featuring human star Mark Wahlbeg wielding some kind of Cybertronian sword/gun hardware… er, thing – then following up with the first theatrical trailer, boasting such memorable sights and feats of spectacle as Optimus Prime pimp-slapping a Dinobot (in all seriousness, the trailer’s pretty cool, no matter how the actual movie turns out).
Age of Extinction is the fourth installment in the extremely-lucrative (though critically-derided) live-action Transformers movie franchise, picking up some odd number of years after the finale to Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which left the metropolis of Chicago in ruin.
As the Age of Extinction trailer emphasizes, this new chapter will very much address the aftermath of that event; that includes the U.S. government leading a campaign against the Autobots and Decepticons as dangers to human society (Pat Novak would surely disapprove of such thinly-disguised robo-phobia).
One screenshot in the Age of Extinction trailer (see the header image) not only alludes to that plot element, but it also contains a billboard with the tagline “REMEMBER CHICAGO” and a phone number (855-363-8392) than you can call, for a special “Easter Egg” treat. Similarly, the movie’s official viral website has been launched, featuring the poster included below.
There’s not really anything else to the Age of Extinction viral site yet, though you can “Join the Fight” and sign up to receive future emails updates on the viral campaign and film in general.
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One of the film’s costars, Titus Welliver, has indicated that the new Transformers installment may well be the most “adult” in the series thus far – something that both the Age of Extinction trailer footage and viral marketing angle likewise point to. Furthermore, director Michael Bay and screenwriter Ehren Kruger (who also wrote Dark of the Moon) now seem willing to treat the Transformers mythos with more respect, on the whole.
As far as non-CGI characters go, hopefully there will be more screen time devoted to humans hunting down Optimus Prime and his peers, much less time dedicated to ham-fisted melodrama – Wahlberg and his daughter’s (Nicola Peltz) coming of adult age, to be exact – and, in particular, those crude Looney Tunes-esque antics that Bay favored in previous installments (see: Ken Jeong jumping Shia LaBeouf in the bathroom, Sam’s mother eating pot-filled brownies, etc., etc.).
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens in U.S. theaters on June 27th, 2014.