Simpsons Springfield Orlando

Universal theme parks all over the globe have some impressive improvements happening soon, plus Disneyland reveals a brand new stage show. Read about the following in this edition of Theme Park Bits.

  • Universal Orlando is expanding its Springfield area around The Simpsons Ride with several iconic locations.
  • Another Universal Studio location will let you actually shoot zombies, as in Resident Evil.
  • Interactive, talking Transformers Optimus Prime and Megatron are now at Universal Hollywood.
  • Watch the full video of the brand new Disneyland stage show, Mickey and the Magical Map.

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The cast list for Transformers 4 is continuing to grow as the project nears production. Resident Evil: Retribution actress Li Bingbing has just become the first Chinese star to join the Chinese co-production, while a search for extras gets underway in Texas.

And thanks to all of that movement, we now have a little more information on some of the roles that have already been cast, including those played by Mark Wahlberg and Kelsey Grammer. Hit the jump for the latest updates on the film.

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Voltron Transformers

There’s just something exciting about seeing a giant robot kick ass. Growing up in the ’80s, cartoons like Transformers and Voltron were fan favorites because of that very idea. Long before that, Godzilla and the Toho crew fought plenty of giant mechs, and the formula has been exploited in anime, live action television and some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. In projects like Evangelion, Power Rangers, and Pacific Rim, big robots kicking ass is a long-standing tradition.

The Acid Free Gallery in Philadelphia, PA is putting that fact to good use at the upcoming Wizard World ComiCon Philadelphia taking place May 30th through June 2nd. They’ve employed four of the top posters artists working today: Laurent Durieux, Tom Whalen, Kevin Tong and Jesse Philips to make exclusive, robot themed, posters for the event. There’s Voltron, Starscream, Soundwave and the Dinobots. Check them out below. Read More »

Michael Bay / Guillermo del Toro

It’s Autobots and Decepticons versus Jaegers and Kaiju. Sort of. Earlier this week at CinemaCon, Michael Bay made some vague comments about the “rip-off” robot movies that have followed his Transformers franchise. While he didn’t name names, folks wondered if he might be dissing Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming Pacific Rim. Del Toro seemed to take it that way, too, giving a snarky response to press.

But Bay has now clarified that he wasn’t talking about del Toro at all, and in fact that he and del Toro have already squashed their supposed feud. An epic war for the fate of the world, this isn’t. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Now that he’s done with Pain & Gain, which opens April 26, Michael Bay is moving on to Transformers 4. The new film is stepping away from the human cast of the first three films, and stars Mark Wahlberg and Jack Reynor, with Brenton Thwaites and Nicola Peltz. It will develop a new story that picks up four years after the Chicago battle seen in the third movie, and will reportedly feature many redesigned elements.

The film is going to shoot in Detroit, among other places, and a press release from the Michigan Film Office gives some new info about the movie.

Update: Paramount claims the plot info below is incorrect, and has evidently had it removed from the original MFO posting.

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If you ever want to feel bad about your paltry salary, looking into what you favorite A-listers make per film is a good way to do it. No doubt Kristen Stewart works hard on her Twilight movies — it can’t be easy saying some of those lines with a straight face — but can her $25 million payday for Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 really be worth it?

Actually, yes. Forbes has compiled a list of the actors whose movies offer the highest returns for their hefty paychecks, and Stewart comes in at an impressive #2 on the list. The only person who makes a better investment is Natalie Portman, whose Black Swan ultimately grossed 25 times its $13 million budget. Read the full list after the jump.

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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 »

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