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After fronting three blockbusters in the Transformers franchise, Shia LaBeouf has moved on from the world of Autobots and Decepticons, leaving a void Michael Bay has been forced to fill. But that hasn't proved a problem, since hot of their collaboration on Bay's upcoming action-comedy Pain & Gain, he and his star Mark Wahlberg decided to reteam for Transformers 4. The flick will center on Wahlberg's character, his teen daughter and her race car-driving boyfriend.
Last month word got out that Bay was auditioning rising ingénues and ingedudes for the latter two roles. The names floating around for the female lead included Isabelle Cornish, Gabriella Wilde, Nicola Peltz, and Margaret Qualley. The young men competing for the role of the fast and furious beau were Luke Grimes, Landon Liboiron, Brenton Thwaites, Hunter Parrish and Jack Reynor. With Paramount looking to sign its young principals for a three-picture deal, landing these parts would prove a career-making opportunity for any of these up and comers. However, according to Twitch, that honor will go to Nicola Peltz and Brenton Thwaites, who have officially been cast opposite Wahlberg in Transformers 4.
For his part, Thwaites is an Australian actor whose biggest credit to date is the made-for-TV movie Blue Lagoon: The Awakening. He does have a small role as a young prince in Disney's forthcoming live-action adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent, but undoubtedly Transformers 4 will be his first shot at becoming a household name.
Curiously, Peltz has already had that chance as a star of 2010's live-action martial arts adventure The Last Airbender. Of course, that feature was famously panned by critics, earning a shockingly low 6% on the Rotten Tomatoes scale. Many felt the flop confirmed that M. Night Shyamalan had completely lost his touch. Peltz played Katara in the feature, a character who on the original animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender was smart, sassy and suffered no fools. Unfortunately for Peltz—as well as any of us who paid to see Shyamalan's version—the character she played was little more than a lackluster narrator. Since no one looked good in that feature, it seems unfair to judge Peltz's acting chops on that film alone. All the same, Transformers 4 will undoubtedly define her prospects for better or worse.