Paramount Pictures Instagrammed the image above with the caption “Michael Bay on the set of Transformers: Age of Extinction. #Transformers4,” but the caption may as well be ‘Michael Bay in his element.’ Whether you love or loathe the director behind such unapologetic action spectacles as Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon and the Transformers series, can you help but smile at the sheer joy this moviemaker gets out of blowing shit up for the sake of cinema?

While the image itself gives little away about the movie, it’s a cool and kinetic shot behind the scenes of Transformers: Age of Extinction. In the foreground, you have Bay on a dolly cart and track, shooting whatever carnage is unfolding by himself. The deep background teases an industrial landscape, and in between the two we can see one crew member with a tool made for spitting dirt and debris into frame. Moviemaking can clearly be quite a messy process, but look how stoked Bay is to be at the heart of it! It reminds me a bit of his self-spoofing ad of his all-around “awesome” lifestyle.

After the third installment of Bay’s behemoth battle bot franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon made more than $1.1 billion worldwide, a fourth film was more or less guaranteed. Not even Shia LaBeouf bailing on Bay could stop Transformers 4. While Bay himself had considered walking away from the franchise, he ultimately decided he didn’t want some other helmer stepping in and potentially screwing up the multi-movie story he’d worked to hard to construct. Last fall, he explained:
“It's like, when you look what's going on in the film business with the franchise frenzy right now, why is Cameron doing two more Avatar movies? Why is Peter Jackson doing three more Hobbit movies that are in the same world as Lord of the Rings? When you have a franchise, it's very hard to give it up."

Leaving behind the story of LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky, Transformers: Age of Extinction is fronted by Bay’s Pain And Gain star Mark Wahlberg as a mechanic who—along with his daughter—stumbles across a secret that draws the attention of the Autobots, Decepticons, and the government. The cast also includes Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Kelsey Grammer (Expendables 3), T.J. Miller (Our Idiot Brother), Sophia Myles (Underworld: Evolution), Titus Welliver (Deadwood), and Bingbing Li (Resident Evil: Retribution). You can see some of the cast and crew in another pretty awesome Bay pic here.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is now in production; it’s slated to hit theaters on June 27th, 2014.

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