The process of tracking development on director Michael Bay's currently untitled fourth Transformers movie (we call it Transformers 4, for brevity's sake) has proven to be a dangerous one, between (initially) false casting reports about Mark Wahlberg that ended up coming true, a pretend script leaking - which got the fans excited for an installment that includes Dinobots and Unicron - and then, just last week, a synopsis dropped that Paramount denied as being accurate (though, the studio's drastic response suggests otherwise).
We continue the roller coaster ride today, with confirmation that Nicola Peltz has been cast as the female lead in Transformers 4 - some two months after Bay dismissed reports that she and Brenton Thwaites have been cast as "completely false" (so it was only a half-lie, so to speak).
Just so there's no confusion, here is the Tweet that proves it:
— Michael Bay Dot Com (@S4TE) March 26, 2013
Peltz, according to the rumor mill, is playing Wahlberg's daughter, whose hotshot car-racing boyfriend (played by Irish actor Jack Reynor) is presumably the missing link between their characters and the Transformers in this new installment. The young actress played the water-bending Katara in The Last Airbender and can be seen on the small screen in season one for A&E's Bates Motel, where she plays Norman Bates' (forbidden) love interest, Bradley Martin
It's hard to not be unenthused about the prospect of a TF4 human storyline that, by the sound of it, will involve Wahlberg's character having daddy issues - even given Bay's (empty? Misleading?) promises that the fourth Transformers movie is going to redesign the franchise "from top to bottom" and dive further into the Hasbro property's sci-fi aspects (but all while keeping things "grounded" in a larger story that picks up four years after the conclusion to Transformers: Dark of the Moon).
Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox were, respectively, in similar positions career-wise on the first Transformers as Peltz and Reynor are right now. That could be read as yet another warning sign that Bay and his TF4 screenwriter Ehren Kruger (who also scripted Dark of the Moon) are vying to
copyemulate the coming of age storyline, emotional subtext and Spielbergian sense of wonder present in Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci's script on the first movie.
It's not a terrible idea, mind you, seeing how Bay's original TF installment still has the strongest emotional core in the series - which was discussed on the SR Underground Podcast this week - but that story isn't exactly "fresh and new" at this stage; not to mention, my own lack of confidence in the storytelling abilities of the writer responsible for Scream 3, The Ring Two and parts of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (just saying...).
Transformers 4 opens in theaters on June 27th, 2014.
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