Michael Bay’s initial Transformers trilogy occupies a strange place in pop culture. Many film goers absolutely hate them, calling them nothing but crass, explosion-filled, pointless messes. Yet, they are one of the most lucrative franchises in film history. So Bay and company are doing something right.
Even skeptics are curious about the fourth installment. Gone is Shia LeBeouf. (Bay says, “It’s all good. He’s a good guy, but three movies, the same guy, it’s time, you know what I’m saying?”) In his place is Mark Wahlberg, who has a pretty solid track record. And Bay is further tempting fans by bringing in the popular Autobot subset the Dinobots. Lead Dinobot Grimlock, a fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus Rex, has already been glimpsed in the movie’s Super Bowl, further fanning the flames of intrigue. Could this movie really move past the previous movies’ lowbrow reputation?
Bay opened up… a little… about Grimlock and another intriguing new addition. “I like to keep things very much in the dark. But yes, you’ll understand why they’re there when you see the movie. If you think I’m supposed to give away a lot of story points? No way! Keep it secret.”
He did reveal some technical details, however. The T-Rex form will be 150 feet long from tail to nostrils, 63.5 feet tall from the ground to the top of his horns, and weigh 850 tons.
Bay also wouldn’t open up about the Dinobots’ origin, which has varied depending on the medium. In Marvel Comics, they were a special covert-ops team that took on their dinosaur forms to blend in on prehistoric Earth, while Optimus Prime and the others remained in suspended animation for thousands of years. On the cartoon of the 80s, they were created by the Autobots after they discovered fossilized bones. Will their cinematic origin be one of these, a combination of the two or something completely different?
Bay was more forthcoming about another character, Lockdown. Lockdown appears to be a character created for the animated series, adapted to the IDW comics and that was used in some tie-in comics for ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ and in the video game based on ‘Dark of the Moon’, so it sounds like there have been plans in place for a while to bring him into the cinematic universe.
Lockdown has been referred to as a former Decepticon, who now has no allegiance to either side now but instead works as a mercenary. His alternate form is that of a Lamborghini Aventador.
Bay was much more open about this character, expressing:
“Lockdown is an interesting character. He travels the galaxy, he works for somebody else. And he’s here for one person, one alien, and then he’s out of here. So he doesn’t really want to take sides. The cause and balance of the galaxy is kind of messed up when different species play with different species. And that opens up a whole other gigantic world for Transformers.”
“Lockdown’s ship has a lot of meaning that can go into other movies. There’s a lot of backstory about that ship that’s not laid out here. You’re going to see a few things where you’re like ‘What is that? And what is that?’ And you’re going to see a couple shots like, ‘Wait a minute, who are they?’ But we don’t answer those questions.”
After the destruction in the last movie, the human race, which had formerly willingly allied itself with the Autobots has now turned against the robots as a whole and someone wants them off the planet.
One returning headliner, Optimus Prime deals with the brunt of this sudden negative shift, resulting in what Bay calls “angry Optimus Prime.”
Mark Wahlberg explained, “Optimus has lost all faith in humankind, and I’m trying to convince him there is still good in the world and we need to work together.”
Bay added, “He’s done good for earth, and he’s been f–ked over.”
Are you excited about the new ‘Transformers’?