Those of us who live in major cities may have been fortunate enough, at one point or another, to happen upon a movie in the process of being filmed. The near-universal reaction is understandable: most people will whip out a camera and try to take a picture or shoot a short video. If you’re lucky, you may get footage of an action scene or a major star.

You might think that it is perfectly legal to film an event taking place in a public place in broad daylight. But after an innocuous video of the Transformers 3 shoot was abruptly pulled from Youtube, it is clear that according to Paramount Pictures’ legal department, you are violating copyright.
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Briefly: More Transformers 3 news is coming in, but this is not quite  as much fun as Shia LaBeouf‘s comments from yesterday. But Firefly and Dollhouse fans will be happy about the fact that Alan Tudyk has now been cast in the film. His role hasn’t been revealed, but we don’t know much of anything about the plot at this point, so that’s no surprise. We do know that the film features the likes of John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and Patrick Dempsey in addition to LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson and hopefully John Turturro. [The Wrap]

Meanwhile, spy photographers continue to catch  snaps of two Chevy Sparks, detailed green and orange, that are reportedly part of the production. That leads to the suspicion that Skids and Mudflap, the awful caricature Autobots, are in fact in the film, despite Bay’s insistence to the contrary. Or, since these are different versions of the cars, could they be revamped versions of the characters? Given that Michael Bay claimed that Megatron would not be in the second film before the character was a rather large part of that movie, there’s the suspicion that Bay is throwing up a smokescreen, Spy Hunter style, about the twins.


Well, these are pretty much the quotes of the day, and if the heart of entertainment is still beating, they’ll inspire a little flame war between Shia LaBeouf and Michael Bay.

While promoting Wall Street 2 in Cannes, LaBeouf is naturally being asked about Transformers 3, and he promises a more affecting movie with a higher body count, while saying that “the heart was gone” from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Yeah, we noticed, Shia. Read on… Read More »

Last year, one of the more contentious aspects of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was an Autobot duo, Mudflap and Skids, who seemed to embody an impressive collection of racist, urban stereotypes.

Yesterday there was word, based on a spy account of some Transformers 3 activity, that the twins would return for the third film. But Michael Bay has now said that isn’t the case. Read More »


On Easter Sunday, I landed in New Orleans to sweat and drop by the set of RED, yet another comic book adaptation, but one packing the following A-list cast:

Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren (as a tea-sipping sniper with a 50-cal machine gun), Mary-Louise Parker, Star Trek’s Karl Urban, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfuss, Nip/Tuck‘s Julian McMahon, and Ernest Borgnine

And I would be remiss not to list the movie’s possible scene hog: a stuffed toy pig with wild eyes toted around by Malkovich’s character…a paranoiac-genius. Shocked? The movie, due in October, is loosely based on a very lean 2003 WildStorm comic book series by Warren Ellis and artist Cully Hammer, whom we spoke with on set. Willis stars as a retired assassin named Frank Moses, a hermetic, once-valuable man now wanted dead by pesky/shady forces. Naturally, Moses seeks defense and camaraderie from a badass crew of vets (Malkovich, Mirren, and Freeman). The film, described as “hard PG-13,” is directed by Robert Schwentke, best known for the Fincher-aping Flightplan.

RED is an acronym for Retired Extremely Dangerous, and the ensemble aspect means the end product should comfortably fit into the current action zeitgeist of grizzled, last hurrah actioners (The Expendables) and specialized, quick-quip posses (The A-Team). However, on set producers compared the tone not to other genre properties but to Ocean’s Eleven with a splash of True Lies. Ellis and Hammer have both publicly endorsed the decision to forgo their comic book’s bloody, quasi-polemic seriousness in addition to much of the storyline (wherein Moses was a lone wolf). After the jump are thoughts from producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, Constantine), and my own observations (excluding a strip club excursion later that night with various web editors). Look for interviews with several cast members, including an expletive-liberated Willis in top form, closer to release.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Patrick Dempsey and Jamie Kennedy

It appears that Michael Bay‘s Transformers 3 is begining to gear up as the casting news has begun to leak, including the possible new additions of Patrick Dempsey and Jamie Kennedy.

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While visiting the sweltry set of Red this month, /Film had the pleasure of hanging and chatting a bit with John Malkovich. The iconic actor’s thoughts on the 2010 Warren Ellis comic book adaptation remain under wraps, but Malkovich also took a sec to extend on his rumored involvement in Sam Raimi‘s (thankfully?) never-to-be Spider-Man 4. In what seemed to be the first official confirmation straight from the actor—mark your journals—Malkovich divulged he was to battle Tobey Macguire as the winged super-villain The Vulture. After the jump are his quotes on the once upon a role. (Sure, it’s the geek equivalent of a GF pondering last night’s crazy dream about a labyrinthian mall…but better.)

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Witwicky Parents Return for Transformers 3

Kevin Dunn and Julie White Transformers

As expected, Kevin Dunn and Julie White have officially signed on to reprise their roles as Ron and Judy Witwicky, the parents of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) in Michael Bay’s Transformers 3. We’ve previously reported that LaBeouf, and co-stars Megan Fox and Tyrese Gibson are set to return for the third installment.

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At last year’s theatrical exhibitors ShoWest convention, Michael Bay voiced the following unpopular statement in front of a room full of theater owners: “I think [3d] might be a gimmick.” But after Avatar changed the game, Paramount began pushing the director to produce Transformers 3 in 3D. Bay even showed signs of budging. But it doesn’t look like the filmmaker will shoot the threequel, or even segments of the film, in 3D after all.

Mike Fleming reports that Bay not only investigated shooting Transformers 3 using 3D cameras (concluding of course that the equipment is “too heavy and cumbersome for the fast pace action scenes he shoots”) but the director also sent footage from the previous Transformers films for the 3D upconversion tests. His conclusion thus far is that it is post 3D upconversion is a gimmick. I’m actually in total agreement (you can read my thoughts about the upcoming 3D upconversion of Clash of the Titans here). I highly reccomend that everyone read Bay’s quote after the jump.

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jeong-mcdorman-malkovich was updated this morning, with Bay writing that he has “just locked in” Frances McDormand and John Malkovich as cast members for Transformers 3. According to Deadline, McDormand will have a major role in the film as the National Intelligence Director, while Malkovich will play “Shia’s character’s first boss.” Those who think that the casting of McDormand and Malkovich represent an upgrade in terms of acting pedigree for this series should remember: these are the films that cast Cannes Best Actor award-winner John Turturro and forced him to a) Get pissed on by a robot, and b) Show his ass cheeks for no reason whatsoever.

The film will be shot in LA, Chicago, Washington DC, Florida, Texas, Africa, Moscow, and China, with pre-shoots beginning in about a month. Ken Jeong of Knocked Up and Hangover fame has also been cast. I assume that hilarity (and potentially offensive Asian stereotypes) will ensue.