Bay promised that the sequel will feature a lot more actual Transformers, but he certainly isn’t dialing back much on the human components. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that a bunch of the original Transformers cast has signed on to return for the sequel. Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro will reprise their roles in Michael Bay’s Transformers 2.
I think it has always been assumed that Fox would return as Sam’s girlfriend (or possibly ex-girlfriend). I’m also not surprised that Duhamel and Gibson are being brought back as the human faces of the military, especially since they have tactical experience battling the big robots (or at least that’s what I hope the storyline military’s explanation is, because if Duhamel and Gibson’s characters just happen to be in the right place at the right time, that would be really sloppy screenwriting). I am somewhat shocked that Turturro is being brought as his s7 role seemed to polarize audiences. Some people loved him, some thought he was annoying and took away from the film.
Rainn Wilson has been cast in Michael Bay’s Transformers 2, and will be playing the part of a professor.
“I play a college professor,” he told MTV before jokingly adding, “that turns into a robot, and turns into a car.”
We got a tip earlier in the month that Bay and Company will be shooting some scenes at the University of Pennsylvania. And we know that Jonah Hill turned down the role of Sam Witwicky’s (Shia LaBeouf) college roommate. So it’s likely that Rainn will be playing Witwicky’s college professor, probably in an early segment of the story. Rainn claims he hasn’t even read the script yet, and that it’s only a cameo role.
The two new casting choices revealed thus far (Hill who ultimately decided not to do the film) definitely hint at a screenplay laced with comedy, like the original film.
Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!
Lobster Johnson created this custom Heath Ledger-version Joker Munny.
Patrick Read Johnson has found financing to complete post production on his autobiographical indie “77,” (formerly titled 5/25/77) which chronicles the director’s journeys in Hollywood with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. [THR]
William Shatner claims JJ Abrams never called him back. [trekmovie]
Warner Bros has scheduled a September 19th release date for Whiteout. [shock]
JustJared has new photos from the set of Crank 2: High Voltage which show star Jason Statham with some nasty fake scars on his back.
WALL-E was given a G-Rating by the MPAA.Â [animatednews]
Cineleet takes a look at the influences of Star Wars in a column titled Before the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
The Incredible Hulk has invaded New York City. Head over to Marvel for more images.
Eric Lively, Tony Todd and Gil Bellows have been cast in the “24” prequel. [THR]
MTV has the first chapter of Vern’s new book Seagalogy: A Study of the Ass-Kicking Films of Steven Seagal.
Sony Pictures Classics is in final negotiations for James Toback‘s boxing documentary “Tyson,” which chronicles the life of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. [THR]
MovieMistakes has a list of over 70 mistakes from the original Indiana Jones series.
Blockbuster is advertising on Pizza boxes?! [Gizmodo]
Rotten Tomatoes takes a look at the top 20 sequels they’re still waiting for.
The Disney Movie Surfers have taken a behind-the-scenes look at WALL-E, and new footage is featured.
Fanboy has a look at all the Indiana Jones Knock-Offs in a segment they call The Hall of Shame.
Jim Hill blogs about the lost action sequences where Indiana Jones battled samurai and a machine-gun toting warlord, that was cut from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Daily Mail has the first photo of a bald Cameron Diaz on the set of My Sister’s Keeper. Scary!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be rated PG for "sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking." [io9]
NBC will air a special Incredible Hulk-themed episode of “American Gladiators” with guest star Lou Ferrigno. [SHH]
Madonna‘s newest film, a documentary about the struggles of Malawi, titled I Am Because We Are, will screen at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival in August. [variety]
One of NECA’s comic con exclusives is an action figure three pack from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles featuring a set of three Mousers. [mechzilla]
FestivalCentral asks people at Cannes how to pronounce the title of Charlie Kaufman‘s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York. Jeff Wells reports that Kaufman says the pronunciation is “Syn-ECK-duh-kee.”
Blogwarts has yet another new (but way too small) photo from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Twentieth Century Fox paid $550,000 to the Smithsonian Institution for the right to use its name in Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian. [sci-fi]
Build your own cubecraft Indiana Jones and Golden Idol on Cubecraft.com.
Fangoria reports that actor Glenn Morshower is set to return to Transformers 2. Morshower is best known for playing a secret service agent in 24, and appeared in the original movie as a military Sargent at the US Soccent.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine has wrapped principal photography. [iesb]
Check out these two videos from Sundance, director, writer and actor Clark Gregg discusses his new film Choke. [searchlight]
Good news for Transformers fans, Soundwave will appear in the Transformers sequel. When Michael Bay was developing Transformers, rumor had it that Soundwave would make an appearance (possibly as a modern day MP3 player). And while that never happened in the original film, screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have confirmed that Soundwave is included inÂ the script for Transformers 2.
“We had to get Soundwave in there,” Orci told IGN. “You know, we had Ravage in an early draft of the first movie and Soundwave, and we couldn’t do it right and I think this time hopefully we’ll have the ability to do it.”
For those who don’t know, Soundwave is one of the most recognized original Transformers characters. You might remember Soundwave as the Decepticon which could transform into a microcassette recorder. As the Decepticon Communications Officer, he can detect and jam radio transmissions all across the energy spectrum and has the ability to monitor electrical impulses within brain circuitry (i.e. read minds). Orci also promises that the sequel will be more appealing to hardcore fans.
“Some of the die hard fans. . . felt. . . Maybe it wasn’t science fictiony enough. And I think the second one will deliver on a true Transformers story. You know, the first one, we had a limited budget for what it was. Every second of Transformer time is a million dollars or whatever the heck it is, so this time, because we were able to prove through the whole thing that it’s a viable live-action movie, we have a little more freedom this time to actually learn about the Transformers, see them, hear them. It’s a better balance between the humans and the Transformers.”
I think most people would agree that the transformers were not given enough screen time in the first film. And I’m not just talking about action sequences, but character exploration. But I’m sure the sequel will probably be more human-based than they’re letting on. And I really doubt that the Decepticons will have three-dimensional character arcs when the film hits the big screen. But we can hope.
Chris Penn’s funnay brother from another, Jonah Hill, talked up his upcoming reincarnation of 21 Jump Street to MTV, mentioning that the flick has a part open for the show’s original cover boy Johnny Depp. Seeing Hill and Depp cutting up togeths on screen would not be un-rad in my estimation…
“We have an awesome thing for [Johnny] Depp, if he’ll do it,” Hill enthused. “I don’t know if he will or not, [but] it’s going to be rad!”
Hill also said that the cast to his 21JS will be chockful of famous funny types, but didn’t specify who. Cue Apatow mental flipbook. If you’re a dateless 8th grader reading this on a Saturday night, 21 Jump Street was a popular TV series about undercover cops aka narcs infiltrating a high school as students.
Regarding his rumored-then-ixnayed role in Transformers 2, Hill also let it be known that it was he who dumped the ‘bots and not vice versa. Seems he wants to avoid being typecast by audiences/execs as the chubby, stoned, prankster sidekick (who wouldn’t?)…
“I just think like I have to prove myself more in what I’m doing now, making comedies and stuff before I do the big action movie or something, you know? I’m not proven yet,” Hill confessed. “I’ve only been in one movie that people have seen that I’ve been the lead in so like, um, I could still suck in people’s minds, they don’t know yet!”
Hill’s inclusion in Bay’s gazillion dollar-grossing sequel would have offered him unparalleled mainstream exposure, but, at least on the surface, the role seemed to have shades of Chunk and “Bullet holes?!?” written all over it. Obviously, post-Superbad Hill has aspirations mirroring his peers, and–not to play odds with cool talents–it will be interesting to see who ends up with the bigger film career as a lead actor between him, Seth Rogen and Michael Cera.
Discuss: Do you think Depp will pop up in Hill’s 21 Jump Street or will he be reluctant to revisit his Tiger Beat roots?
Transformers 2 begins production next month in Pennsylvania, and one of the scenes is set to shoot in front of the iconic furnaces in south Bethlehem (shown above). The production will transform the old steel site into an Asian city during the first week of June. They are currently casting local ‘Asian men and women, boys and girls, ages 7 [to] 65” as paid extras in the movie, and are looking for people who have military backgrounds. Looks like big computer generated robots will battle the Chinese military in front of the blast furnaces. The Mayor has been assured that it will be ‘an important scene for this movie.’
Thanks to /Film reader Kinsey for passing this along.
Are Michael Bay and 3D the new PB&J? A promotional PDF released by Dolby for this year’s ShoWest lists Transformers 2 under 2009’s 3D features alongside well known 3D flicks like AVATAR and Tintin. Bay hasn’t updated his blog to confirm or deny the announcement. Given the fact that the man eats Epic brand cereal morning, noon and night, and has the sizable task of topping his prior $319 million grossing robot deathmatch, who else thinks it’s a no-brainer?
The sequel starts principle photography on June 2nd in Pennsylvania, but obviously the looming SAG strike, which Bay recently ripped, could temporarily forfeit the mass destruction. Not sure if the ladies were ready for Jonah Hill in 3D, so maybe that bit of ixnayed casting was divine intervention. More on T2 going 3D if and when it surfaces…
Discuss: Alright, who has something negative to say about this development? Surprise us.
Last month it was reported that Australian hottie Teresa Palmer had been cast in Michael Bay’s Transformers 2. Bay denies the casting on his personal blog, claiming that “Teresa Palmer was not considered for a role.”
To complicate things further, IGN is now reporting that another Aussie actress Isabel Lucas (pictured right), has been cast in the role of Alice in the sequel. Lucas is a newbie, and will be seen in the upcoming vampire flick Daybreakers, and the HBO miniseries The Pacific. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura promises that the big casting announcements will be made over the next several weeks.
“Ultimately, we’ll have a couple casting surprises for everybody soon,” the producer told MTV. “Michael’s got some really great stuff planned.”
Last year Michael Bay told reporters that he has “an amazing idea” for a transforming aircraft carrier but it was “just too expensive” for the first film, but teased that it might be featured in one of he sequels. When asked if Broadside would make an appearance in the sequel, di Bonaventura said:
“We never really talked about that, practically speaking,” he said. “There was some Japanese animated movie we saw where that occurred, and we were like ‘Wow! Look at that thing!'”
Transformers 2 is scheduled to begin shooting in early June, if the actors don’t go on strike. Bay lashed out against the strike yesterday:
“Oh my god. SAG wants more than Directors and Writers? That’s a smart tactic I guess. When are people going to understand, most importantly actors – we are at war – we are facing a major recession – our country is in dire need of being fixed – our country also has no money because we have given trillions to the Iraq war and we have NOT even started to pay for it – it is just paid right now by printing more money on presses – China owns our ass in every way. Why not strike on a business in a down fall. Just like the writer’s they made pennies on the four extra months striking – when you do the real math and they are paying the price for it still – so many writer’s out of work still!!! I want this business to thrive – I know the studio heads and they will punish those that defy them. Okay, be an idealist – but you will never get a better deal then the writer’s or directors – only the same – the studio’s will never allow it, don’t kid yourself. The working actors don’t want a strike – they have said so. Too many non working actors have a say which is crazy – maybe there are just too many actors?? Gosh I’m even a member of SAG, but I don’t feel I’ve earned the right to vote in this guild. One hunch, the leaders of these guilds seem to like the limelight they get in the press, it becomes more about the ego in the room rather than something smart. Striking is not smart. Through the history in America, strikes in businesses have only gained the union worker 6% at the max – so take the emotion out of it and go for the 6%. A path to strike is not smart for the the hundreds of thousands of people in this business. Sanity needs to prevail here – talk real and talk the same talk as your union brothers – not more!”
Let’s hope this strike doesn’t happen.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Last week it was reported that Jonah Hill was in early negotiations to costar opposite Shia LaBeouf in Transformers 2. Entertainment Weekly is now reporting that negotiations between Hill and DreamWorks have broken down and the studio has moved on to other choices.
Supposed leaked casting breakdowns described the character as being Sam’s roommate at Princeton. Chuck (19-25 yrs) runs a conspiracy theory website and is funny in an irreverent, edgy way, he is shocked to see his conspiracy theories come to life.
Discuss: Knowing that the casting directors wanted Hill for the role, who would you cast as Hill’s replacement?
/Film reader S. McGruff informs us that Michael Bay will be filming sequences for Transformers 2 at the University of Pennsylvania:
I’ve been reading for a couple months and love the site. Not sure if this is newsworthy but you can decide. I’m a student at the University of Pennsylvania and a few of my friends involved in student government told me that Transformers 2 will be shooting on campus in one of the nicer fraternities this summer. Im guessing these scenes will involve Shia/Jonah at college. Michael Bay was also seen on campus a few weeks back, so I guess that sort of confirms that the film will be partially shot here. Thought you might like to know.
Chances are that UPENN will be filling in for Princeton, the school Shia LaBeouf’s character Sam Witwicky’s is rumored to be attending.