The launch of "Transformers: The Ride - 3D" at Universal Studios theme park has brought director Michael Bay out and about doing interviews - and naturally, the questions have turned to Transformers 4, which Bay will be back to direct.
Recent word from the director has pegged the fourth installment as being the opening act of a new storyline - presumably, a new trilogy. The human cast will largely be replaced with new faces, there will be new robot designs - and Transformers 4 will mark Bay's last film in the franchise; new directorial candidates will be brought in to helm future films.
When Bay spoke to the LA Times, he made sure to also polish the terminology being associated with the fourth film (read: the term "reboot" (or "requel") that has been hanging over it):
“It’s not a reboot... That’s maybe the wrong word. I don’t want to say 'reboot' because then people will think we’re doing a 'Spider-Man' and starting from the beginning. We’re not. We’re taking the story that you’ve seen — the story we’ve told in three movies already — and we’re taking it in a new direction. But we’re leaving those three as the history. It all still counts.”
One of those 'differences' could involve going into outer space - something that hardcore Transformers fans have long been hoping for:
"That feels like the way to go, doesn’t it? I want to go a little off [the planet] but I don’t want to go too sci-fi. I still want to keep it grounded."
Transformers fans would love to see the movies explore the planet Cybertron - or perhaps introduce Unicron, the villainous transforming planet from the 1986 Transformers animated movie. Unfortunately, from a financial standpoint, making space-based sci-fi Transformers films - almost entirely with CGI effects - would be too costly. Hence Bay's insistence that they will 'keep it grounded.'
'Grounded' also translates to 'human cast,' and Bay made it clear that prior reports of the old guard being out, and new actors being brought onboard, are true: “It’s a new cast... We’re moving on to something different.”
No word yet on who will be in that "new cast" - but one final point of interest: apparently Transformers 4 will not be as big budget as Transformers: Dark of the Moon was. According to Bay, the studio is shaving about "30 million" from the production budget. We'll see if that reduction holds as the film actually enters the production process.
At the very least we'll be done with the misadventures of Sam Witwicky and his live-threatening love drama with impossibly perfect women. The shot of new blood (with some proper casting) and hopefully, that darker, more serious tone we heard about, will all contribute to helping pique the interest of those who have been put off by the series to this point.
BONUS: This Transformers 4 fan-made teaser poster is pretty sweet:
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Production is ramping up on Transformers 4, so expect to see casting updates, concept artwork, an official plot synopsis and the like, start to leak down the pipeline.
Transformers 4 will be in theaters on June 27, 2014