Michael Bay was at Universal Studios Hollywood last week to take a tour of the new Transformers 3D ride. Apparently, he was impressed with what he saw, but rather than talk about that he spent some time updating everyone on Transformers 4. Read on for the full update on everything Autobot.
The filmmaker, who swore he was done after Transformers: Dark of the Moon (and hinted that he was done after Revenge of the Fallen), has finished shooting his “small” $20 million dollar film Pain and Gain and is once again ready to immerse himself in the world of “giant f***ing robots.” There’s no script yet (Bay says he met with the writer before taking off to shoot Pain and Gain and that they’ll now meet again to see where things stand), but the filmmaker promises changes are in store.
The biggest change will be the inclusion of a new (human) cast. Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky is out. Apparently so is everyone else, following Megan Fox into the great new world known as “life after Transformers.” Bay sums it up casually, “it’s a new cast. We’re moving on to something different.”
He’s quick to point out that the “something different” is not a reboot.
“It’s not a reboot, that’s maybe the wrong word,” Bay said. “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.”
What might that new direction entail? Perhaps outer space is finally on the docket. When asked about the possibility of the series heading off the terra firma of Earth, Bay offered these thoughts. “I think so, yeah, a little. That feels like the way to go, doesn’t it? I want to go a little off but I don’t want to go too sci-fi. I still want to keep it grounded.That’s what works in these movies, that’s what makes it accessible.”
Moving beyond Earth would seemingly indicate a trip to Cybertron was in order – and it may well be, but there are budgetary concerns. Bay tells The LA Times that he’s received a mandate to cut roughly $30 million from what he spent on Dark of the Moon. Perhaps this is caution over the new direction at the studio level? Whatever the reason, losing $30 million may make it challenging to create an entirely new world that serves as the focal point for a feature film. We might get to Cybertron, but it’s not clear if that will be the film’s main setting.
Finally, there are hints that the Transformers themselves may be getting some redesigns. We still haven’t heard any updates on that front, but it appears to still be on the table as far as the new film’s development goes. It makes sense – moderately redesigned robots means a whole new line of toy tie-ins for Hasbro, after all.
Whatever happens, it appears as though Bay is committed to taking his franchise into new territory. Sure, there’ll still be giant robots, explosions, and enough quick cuts to make you need a prescription of Ritalin for your ADD in the aftermath, but the director seems willing to move things forward rather than just keep making the same film over and over. We’ll have to wait and see if Bay sticks with that plan or if it works, but right now we know this: Transformers 4 is shaping up to be a different film than the three that preceded it. The real question is, will audiences pay for a ticket to take the ride again? What do you think of these changes? Looking forward to a new cast and locale or are disappointed by the new direction? Geek out in the comment section.