So Megan Fox is out of Transformers 3 and her replacements are already being discussed. But it seems that Fox is not willing to let movie studios or film journalists write her narrative. Proving that she will not go quietly into that good night, representatives for Fox told People magazine that it was in fact her idea to leave the franchise that made her a star: “Megan Fox will not be starring in Transformers 3…It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best.”

Seems like a dubious but understandable attempt at damage control by Fox. Deadline has a pretty good rundown of the history of Fox’s PR tussles, but I think the most incisive point is that Fox’s post-Transformers career hasn’t exactly lit the world aflame. Jennifer’s Body only took in $16 million domestically, while Jonah Hex looks like it could be a hit or miss, probably the latter. Would anyone in her position really turn down a cash cow like Transformers, even if it meant working with Michael Bay?

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That was fast. It’s been only hours since the first report surfaced that Michael Bay and Paramount had decided against bringing Megan Fox back into the fold for Transformers 3, and already there are recasting rumors. Some might be a slight bit premature. But decisions can happen fast, especially with only weeks left before the film shoots, which means relatively little time remains to lock down whatever script changes would be necessary to accommodate a new character.

All that being the case, who gets to be the new love interest for Shia LaBeouf in Transformers 3? Gemma Arteron is said to be high on the list, and she’s actually a damn good choice. Read More »

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Briefly: Note to actresses: might not be a great idea to refer to your directors as Hitler. We don’t have a lot of info right now, but Deadline is reporting that Paramount will not be picking up Megan Fox‘s option to appear in Transformers 3. Reportedly, the decision came down to Michael Bay, and he decided not to pull the trigger on hiring Fox.

Deadline’s source says Bay and his writers will be “giving Shia [LaBeouf] a new love interest makes more sense for the story.” Make your predictions about the implications for the future of Fox’s career, and the real reason for this decision, in the comments below.

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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.

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

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 »

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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 »

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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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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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