Before Michael Bay makes the fourth Transformers movie, he’ll get to film a story that he’s had in his sights for quite some time. Pain and Gain is a fictional account of a true story in which a group of ‘roided Miami bodybuilders attempt to execute a plan to kidnap a businessman, but find things going very wrong. Reference the subheading of the article that inspired the film: “They were local bodybuilders with a penchant for steroids, strippers, and quick cash. And they became expert in the use of a peculiar motivational tool: Torture.”

The cast already features Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris and Rob Corddry. Now Bay has added the great Tony Shalhoub, who will play the target of the kidnapping plot, and model Bar Paly. Read More »

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Anthony Mackie‘s one of those people that seems like he should be much more famous than he is. If you’ve ever seen his work, it’s obvious he’s got the charisma, the talent, and yes, the good looks to become a bona fide leading man. But while his Hurt Locker co-star Jeremy Renner’s been snapping up what feels like every franchise in Hollywood, Mackie’s yet to capture quite the same amount of attention. Happily, that’s starting to change, and it now looks like his next step toward the top will be a leading role opposite Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in Michael Bay‘s Pain & Gain. More details after the jump.

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As a Friday Night Lights fan, I want nothing more than to see its stars succeed in their post-FNL careers. And some have, but others, like Adrianne Palicki, have been less fortunate. Her TV series Lone Star was cancelled after a mere two episodes, and Wonder Woman never even got picked up. Here’s hoping she has more luck on the big screen — Palicki recently wrapped this summer’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and she’ll appear in this fall’s Red Dawn remake.

Now she’s gearing up to switch genres, as she lands a role alongside Glenn Howerton, Ben Schwartz, Steve Little, and Josh Groban in Coffee Town. The comedy, which marks CollegeHumor’s first foray into feature filmmaking, revolves around a website manager (Howerton) who uses a local coffeeshop as his makeshift office. He and his friends must band together when their freeloading way of life is threatened. Palicki will play Becca, a nurse and cafe customer who’s the object of Howerton’s affections. Production begins next week in Los Angeles. [Variety]

After the jump, Rob Corddry could be a bodybuilder-turned-accountant/notary-turned-gym-owner for Michael Bay, and Lone Ranger loses a star.

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Before Michael Bay makes another Transformers movie — and despite the director’s claims to the contrary, it really looks like he will make another one — Bay is going to make a ‘smaller’ film called Pain and Gain. The film is being financed by Paramount, likely as part of an incentive deal to get Bay to make Transformers 4, and it is a crime story he’s been wanting to do for a while. Since late last year it has had Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a possible lead.

Now it looks like the Rock is set. He’ll have company, too, as Ed Harris is reportedly signing on. (Insert joke about The Rock vets Bay and Harris re-teaming with The Rock here.) Read More »

Although Mark Wahlberg is the kind of A-list star that’s constantly in the public eye, he actually hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2010′s The Fighter. Next week’s Contraband marks the end of that streak, however, and it looks like Wahberg will be returning to his usual busy ways after that. The actor has already finished shooting this summer’s Ted, is currently filming Allen Hughes’ Broken City, and has Good Time Gang and 2 Guns on his upcoming slate as well.

And then on top of that, there’s also The Fighter sequel, the Entourage movie, and possibly Michael Bay‘s Pain and Gain — which, contrary to previous reports, Wahlberg says he has not declined. In a recent interview, the star gave some status updates on each of those projects. Basically, it sounds like each of them are waiting on a script. Read his comments after the jump.

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[UPDATE: According to Variety's Jeff Snieder, Mark Wahlberg has officially passed on this film. Headline and photo updated. Original article follows.]

Even though Steven Spielberg, Hasbro and a legion of robot fans want Michael Bay to make a fourth Transformers, after three in a row, he’s earned the right to do a film for himself. That movie will be a dark comedy called Pain and Gain, based on the true story of two Miami bodybuilders who get wrapped up in a world of crime. Pumping Iron meets Fargo. It’ll reportedly “only” cost $20 million and Bay is now close to locking down his two leads. Variety reports talks are well underway between Bay and both Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark Wahlberg however, with Wahlberg kind of busy, Johnson is closer to locking a deal down. Read more after the jump. Read More »

On Thursday, April 14th 2011, I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable conversation with Michael Bay, to talk about his upcoming film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. You can read my report about the footage we screened in another article. After the jump, I’ve included the complete massive 7,200 word transcript.

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Michael Bay Testing 3D for Transformers 3

Transformers

Michael Bay has been vocally against the growing popularity of 3D films, at last year’s theatrical exhibitors ShoWest convention making the very unpopular statement that “I think it might be a gimmick.” He added that he didn’t know for sure, and that he was “looking forward to [James] Cameron’s picture.” And Avatar came, and became the biggest grossing film of all time — that’s what they call a game changer.

We’ve heard that Paramount is pushing to film Transformers 3 in 3D, but will Bay budge? Bay appeared on Starz’ “In the House” last night, where he talked about many things, including the possibility of seeing big giant robots on the big screen in 3D:

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