Michael Bay, the director of the “Transformers” movies, said Mark Wahlberg will be the new face of the franchise in the fourth sequel.
Bay made the announcement Thursday on his blog, telling fans he was impressed with Marky Mark while they collaborated on “Pain and Gain,” a soon-to-be-released film starring Wahlberg stars as a bodybuilder on the run from the police.
“Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on “Pain and Gain” and I’m so fired up to be back working with him. An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy,” Bay said.
“Transformers 4” will begin filming in the spring and is scheduled to hit theaters on June 27th, 2014. It will follow three movies that, even if reviled by critics, made quite an impact at the box office. The film franchise has grossed $2.6 billion worldwide after each consecutive film was more popular among the popcorn-eating masses.
Until then, fans of Wahlberg and Bay will be able to chew on “Pain and Gain,” an action comedy that also stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Anthony Mackie. The trio gets involved with a workout company before getting caught up with a criminal enterprise. It opens at the box office on April 26th, 2013.
Wahlberg, 41, will take over as star of the movies from Shia LaBeouf after LaBeouf gave an interview to the Hollywood Reporter criticizing the movies that made him rich and famous.
“I'm done,” the 26-year-old said of his time with “Transformers.” “There's no room for being a visionary in the studio system. It literally cannot exist. You give Terrence Malick a movie like 'Transformers,' and he's f---ed. There's no way for him to exist in that world.”
LaBeouf has been in the headlines of late for filming his “Lawless” role drunk and for implying he’ll be filmed fully nude and having sex in an upcoming Lars Von Trier film.
Bay told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year a fourth “Transformers” will be his last and could even be set in outer space.
“Here’s the thing,” Bay said. “It’s tough to find someone who’s done these kind of movies, and to have the complication of creating the new stuff that needs to be in this movie — not just characters but a new type of action, I hope — and that’s a lot for someone new to bite off. And so after this one I will leave it in the best hands possible. That’s the plan.”
Wahlberg is coming off a few major successes in the same studio system LaBeouf is so bothered by. The actor starred in the hit comedy “Ted” about a boy who grows up and remains friends with a foul mouthed, beer drinking teddy bear. He also gained fan favor for recent roles in “The Fighter” and “Contraband.”