A picture is slowly coalescing, as far as what to expect from director Michael Bay's fourth Transformers installment (for now, referred to as Transformers 4). It's been acknowledged that Hasbro is using the movie to usher in a new generation of toys; hence, the film is going to introduce new robotic characters and maybe even explore some planets beyond Earth. Moreover, the not-a-reboot features different human players, including 'Marky' Mark Wahlberg and two fresh-faces as his daughter and her daredevil boyfriend.
Wahlberg recently attended a press junket for Broken City (which hits theaters in January), where he offered an update on TF4 that included the tentative production start date. He also revealed the previously-announced Ted 2 (or if you prefer, the Ted sequel) will most likely be his followup to the robots-in-disguise movie.
2012 has been busy for Wahlberg, what with the two-time Oscar-nominee filming four different pictures on course for a 2013 release; not to mention, his executive producer duties on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. However, the most intriguing of those upcoming projects is (arguably) Pain & Gain, which teamed Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson - with Bay operating behind the camera - for a bizarre-but-true story concerning bodybuilders, extortions and kidnappings gone very wrong.
Here's what Wahlberg said, with respect to P&G and TF4 (via I Am Rogue):
"Just that I had a great experience working with Michael. We really hit it off. We complement each other so well on set and we took something that was really good and I think we made something special with Pain and Gain. He said to me (on set), 'What do you think about doing a Transformers movie with me?' I said, 'Well, what do you want me to do? He told me and I said, 'Absolutely!' I think it will be the most challenging role that I’ve played and it’s an opportunity for me to do something extremely different. It's going to be very different from what the first ones were. I'm excited about it..."
"Extremely different," however, seemingly refers to TF4 and not Wahlberg's role within; after all, the actor has made a living of playing hard-edged characters with machismo (with exceptions like The Happening) and that should remain the case with Bay's latest. Nonetheless, a CGI effects-centric blockbuster like is largely untested territory for him; the closest Wahlberg has come before is Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, which required little green-screen acting by comparison.
Wahlberg voiced similar thoughts and enthusiasm about TF4 to Coming Soon:
"I loved the idea and I think we can make something really cool and kick-ass. This is not something where it's already established and I'm just in there to get a paycheck. I'm thinking this is the most important role of my career and I can do something really special... It's the only time my kids have ever been interested in a movie I'm making. [laughs]"
Meanwhile, Wahlberg provided the following to Collider:
“We’re shooting ['Transformers 4'] in May, and then I believe we’re gonna do Ted 2 right after. They’re working on it now and we’ve kind of gone through the negotiation process. The great thing about it is [Seth MacFarlane’s] ideas for the second one are sick. He comes from the world of episodic television so he knows how to tell the stories, man, in a way that most people don’t, like for instance The Italian Job we’ve been trying to do the sequel for 10 years. He’s a different kind of guy.”
MacFarlane is gearing up to film his western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West next summer, which means he should be available to begin production on Ted 2 not long after Wahlberg wraps TF4. It's a tight schedule, for sure, but juggling multiple projects is just how the soon-to-be Oscar ceremony host rolls; that includes him planning a Family Guy movie that could happen sooner, rather than later.
We will keep you up-to-date on Ted 2 as the story develops.
In the meantime, Transformers 4 (not the official title) arrives in theaters on June 27th, 2014.