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Michael Bay needed a human actor to lead his Transformers franchise after it was revealed that Shia LaBeouf would not be coming back for a fourth installment, but today it's been announced that Bay's search is over. As has been rumored, the director has cast Mark Wahlberg as the human lead in Transformers 4.
The filmmaker announced the casting on his personal website, the news coming less than 24 hours after the director revealed that internet rumors got him thinking about Wahlberg as a fit choice to lead the franchise. The two worked together on Bay's most recent film, Pain & Gain, a Coen-esque dark crime comedy about a pair of body builders (Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson) who try and set up a blackmail scheme, but manage to bumble it in the worst way possible.
In a statement about Wahlberg's casting Bay said, "Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on Pain and Gain and I’m so fired up to be back working with him. An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy."
Bay also revealed a new logo for the film, which you can see below:
Pain & Gain will be in theaters on April 26th and he will then almost immediately get to work on Transformers 4, which is scheduled to start production some time in the spring. The film is being produced by Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. It will be distributed by Paramount Pictures, which is currently targeting a June 27, 2014 release date.