When Transformers: Age of Extinction hit theaters in 2014, it came as the fourth film in the big screen reimagining of the nostalgic sci-fi franchise. It was also the first film that did not feature any of the three lead human cast members from the first the installments, with Shia LaBeouf (Lawless), Megan Fox (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Josh Duhamel’s (11.22.63) characters all written out. Mark Wahlberg (The Gambler, Ted 2) took over as the film’s new lead Cade Yeager, in a clear effort to give the series a soft reboot.
Their effort was successful, if not critically then at least commercially, with Extinction amassing a worldwide gross of over $1.1 billion and becoming the second best performing film in the series. Work on Transformers 5 began immediately after, revealing that Paramount is joining many of the other major studios in building a shared cinematic universe for Transformers 5 – 7, and the upcoming Bumblebee-focused spinoffs. Even though we are still over a year out from release, we now have a bit more information about the Transformers 5 action.
With pre-production started, casting calls have officially gone out for the follow up, (via TFW 2005) indicating that the main body of filming will take place in both Detroit and London. They are looking for supporting actors, as well as extras for the movie who will be shooting in both locations. Filming in Detroit is a bit of a surprise, as Michigan’s legislative actions in 2015 ended incentives for filming in the state.
Wahlberg and Peter Cullen, who voices Optimus Prime, are the only principle cast members currently signed on. Director Michael Bay will be returning to direct the film, and has said that this entry will be his last. This will mark the third collaboration between Wahlberg and Bay, after first having worked together on 2013’s Pain & Gain. The writing team includes Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) and writing duo Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, in addition to others.
For better or worse, Bay has become synonymous with the Transformers franchise and, despite consistently tepid to negative critical response, is clearly the man Paramount wants in charge of this world. It is still unclear what impact the shared universe will have on this film or how these locations will factor into the over arching plot. However, it does seem likely that that part of the movie will be set in Hong Kong, as Detroit was previously used as a stand in for the city when filming Extinction. Either way, there is clearly plenty more Transformers action and news to come in the months leading up to filming.
Transformers 5 will open in U.S. theaters on June 23rd, 2017, followed by the Bumblebee spinoff on June 8th, 2018, and Transformers 6 on June 28th, 2019.
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