Breaking Transformers 4 news has been something of a tricky task. There have been casting rumors flying about, followed by denials from director Michael Bay - though, he reneged on his initial claim that Mark Wahlberg isn't starring - and a few weeks ago a fake script began circulating, spreading more disinformation as to what the plot involves and which fan-favorite robot characters are appearing (including, several that were not featured in previous live-action installments).
Similarly, initial reports about Nicola Peltz and Brenton Thwaites being cast as the young human leads (Wahlberg's daughter and her car-racing boyfriend) gelled with the shortlist of prospectives being considered; however, Bay shot down those claims pretty quickly. Thus, we've been on radio silence for about a month, as far as legitimate updates are concerned.
Fortunately, Bay himself is the source of information for today's report about the casting of TF4's young male lead: Jack Reynor, an Irish actor (though, he was born in the U.S.) who appeared in such titles as Dollhouse and What Richard Did before making the journey overseas to Hollywood. So, there shouldn't be any back-and-forth reporting about this story (knock on wood).
Here is the word from Bay, via his official site:
I just hired a great new actor for Transformers 4 to star against Mark Wahlberg. Jack Reynor, he is an Irish kid that came to America with 30 bucks in his pocket. Pretty ballsy. Seriously who does that? Anyway I spotted him in a great little Irish movie WHAT RICHARD DID. This kid is the real deal.
Transformers 4, is not a reboot. That word has been floating around on the net.
This movie takes place exactly 4 years after the war in Chicago. The story makes a very natural transition, and reason as to why we have a whole new cast. This Transformers will feel very different then the last three. We are embarking on a new trilogy.
Bay's comments echo those of Wahlberg, who referred to the fourth Transformers flick as "extremely different" (both in terms of his career choices and compared to its predecessors). It's essentially become the cliché for selling each TF movie as superior to the ones that've come before it, similar to using "gritty" and "realistic" to promote darker superhero films post-Dark Knight (see: Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, etc.). That said: we've heard enough by now to believe that TF4 could very well be a change-of-pace, more like the second half of Transformers: Dark of the Moon (and no so much the first).
However, the suggestion that Dark of the Moon screenwriter Ehren Kruger's script for the new Transformers will, once again, use a high school relationship as the emotional anchor - and, in turn, the Transformers as both metaphorical and literal vehicles for exploring teen issues - has left many fans worried. That's not a knock against Reynor's (unknown) dramatic chops either. Still, if he does indeed end up playing Sam Witwicky 2.0 (or spending a lot of screen time clashing with Wahlberg about dating his daughter), that'll be disappointing.
... Then again, that would be "different" from what's come before (not to put too fine a point on it), so...
Transformers 4 is slated to begin production this May, to make a June 27th, 2014 release date.
Source: Michael Bay