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Where does the fourth Transformers movie fit on the existing timeline of movies in Michael Bay’s oeuvre? Is it a sequel? A prequel? Will Bumblebee miss Shia LaBeouf’s nattering Sam Witwicky? (That would make one of us?) Or are we just supposed to pretend that the characters introduced by Michael Bay in his initial trilogy don’t exist yet?
Some of these major questions were addressed by Age of Extinction producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in an interview with The Hollywood News. The movie-maker is running into a similar problem with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, as audiences are wondering how it connects to pre-existing Tom Clancy adaptations. As for Extinction, di Bonaventura explains:
It’s definitely not a reboot. It’s an interesting question about what you should call it. On a certain level it’s a continuation of the previous stories, in the fact that it acknowledges what has transpired before it. It acknowledges in the last movie, the destruction of Chicago, it’s actually something that carries through the sort of emotional repercussions of that, not unlike 9/11, has emotional repercussions in the real world. In a fantasy world there are repercussions to what occurred.
Wow. Star Wars and Sept. 11 connections. Bold choices.
Here’s the thing, though, and I hope Bay figures this out with Extinction. We want to see Transformers in these movies, and I’m not sure we care at all about the human characters. Seriously, do you recall a single thing LaBeouf did in a previous Transformers movie? If I told you that John Malkovich and Frances McDormand were in Transformers sequels, would you believe me?
We’ll see our first bit of Age of Extinction footage during the Super Bowl, where Paramount has said it will take out an expensive spot. The movie will blast into theaters on June 27. Bring your own ear plugs.