The following is a special report from /Film’s theme park correspondent Reza Lackey who was in Orlando for the official announcement last night:

The Autobots will soon be rolling out to Universal Orlando for a summer 2013 opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D. Last night, Universal Orlando announced the coming attraction during a small pre-show segment to their fairly new water show, Cinematic Spectacular. Video, photos and more information, after the jump.

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Artists Dave Perillo and Tom Whalen are big fans of ’80s pop culture. We know this not only because it’s the theme of their current Los Angeles art show, but also because they’ve each tackled one of the most popular properties of the decade exclusively for New York Comic-Con. Whalen has done two posters for Transformers (Autobots and Decepticons) and Perillo has done two for G.I. Joe (Joe and Cobra), all officially licensed by Hasbro. The Acid Free Gallery will be selling them at the convention, taking place October 11-14. See the full images below. Read More »

Video: The Making of Transformers The Ride 3D

Earlier today we ran an exclusive preview of Universal Studios Hollywood’s new Transformers: The Ride, which will have its grand opening on May 25th 2012. Universal has just released a three minute behind the scenes featurette showing the development and construction of this new theme park attraction. Watch it now embedded after the jump.

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Yesterday at noon, a text message popped up on my phone: “TF has soft opened. Wanna go?” And with that, I put all of my scheduled work on hold. I jumped in a car and was off to Universal City. Transformers: The Ride doesn’t open at Universal Studios Hollywood until May 25th 2012, but yesterday the theme park was running a technical rehearsal.

Theme parks usually hold grand opening celebrations, complete a red carpet with celebrities and the usual group of press folk. And after that, on an advertised date, the masses go at it. But before any of that can happen, theme parks hold “soft launches”. This usually begins with employee nights, allowing workers at the theme park to test out the new attraction. After that, they open the ride on select days and hours to annual pass-holders, and sometimes later, the general public. The point of these previews are to test the rides against large groups, to fine tune the technology and hopefully spot problems before the real advertised grand opening.

After the jump you can read my reaction and watch a video blog I recorded after experiencing the ride alongside /Film correspondent and theme park expert Reza Lackey. I have also included an image gallery featuring photos from outside the attraction and inside the queue.

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In October, the president of Hasbro made news when he said that his company was in talks with Paramount, Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay to make a fourth Transformers film, or perhaps back to back fourth and fifth films. Bay quickly denied that he was in talks (“I am currently not talking to Paramount on T4 and T5 despite reports”) and the story quieted down to some extent, though Spielberg has said that he’d like more Transformers out of Bay, too.

But now there is a new report that Bay is in final talks to direct a fourth Transformers film, and that it would be shot in late 2012, after he finishes his “low-budget” movie Pain and Gain.

Update: As we assumed,  Bay has weighed in on his own website about this news, and he says he is still undecided about the fourth Transformers movie. His quote is below. Read More »

Infographic: Michael Bay’s Bayhem

Michael Bay is well-known for his use of explosions, helicopters, and sheer budgetary mayhem. But what is the breakdown, by movie, of the use of some of those factors? And which of the films managed to turn Bay’s excess into financial gain?

An infographic called The Formula for Complete and Utter Bayhem breaks it down. Check it out below. Read More »

With Transformers: The Ride — 3D about to launch in Hollywood and Singapore, Universal Studios is looking to bring the giant alien robots to at least one other park. Or at least, so says Steven Spielberg. Though Universal has yet to make a formal announcement about a new Transformers-themed attraction for its Orlando resort, the director claimed in a recent interview that a ride was in the works. More details after the jump.

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Transformers is too big a film franchise to just go away now that Michael Bay has done his three films. The director says he’s gone. Shia LaBeouf says he’s done. (“I’m sure they’ll make more of them, it’s still a very hot franchise, there’s still value in it. I think people will still go to see it. I just don’t know if I have anything to contribute.”) So what next? Given the way we know things are likely to happen with a series like Batman, one obvious supposition is: reboot. But that evidently isn’t in the cards, either, at least not now.

One of the producers of the franchise is definitively crossing reboot off the list of options for the series. What really happens next isn’t exactly clear, however. Read More »

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