Transformers Sequel Using Chinese Reality Program To Cast Four Roles

It sounds like Mark Wahlberg’s co-stars in the upcoming Transformers movie, the fourth in the franchise, are going to be … reality television stars?

The Hollywood Reporter breaks the news that Paramount Pictures will host a reality television program to find four Chinese participants who will be given roles in Transformers 4. Creatively titled Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Television Search, the contest will be presided over by former Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences head Sid Ganis, producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura, casting director Denise Chamian, and Paramount’s marketing and distribution chief Megan Colligan. They will choose four Chinese actors – two professionals, two amateurs – for roles in director Michael Bay’s sequel.

Transformers, like Iron Man 3, is expanding the globalization of Hollywood by tapping directly into the massive and potentially lucrative Asian marketplace. As DiBonaventura puts it, his team is “looking forward to becoming more and more part of the Chinese audience’s experience by bringing the Chinese culture, Chinese traditions and Chinese talent into the movie.”

But will it matter one bit to audience members? Unlikely. Crowds flock to Transformers movies to see the Autobots and Decepticons battling it out toe-to-robotic-toe in Bay’s effects-driven blockbusters. Still, this approach is killing two birds with one robot, giving Chinese audiences a potentially entertaining reality program – the most popular form of entertainment in the country at the moment – while Transformers will pick up new cast members and expand on Bay’s world.

Wahlberg will be the star of the fourth Transformers, though, playing … well, we’re not exactly sure. Lots of information pertaining to the next film has been leaked, though most has been proven false. We know that Bay is filming portions of the sequel in IMAX, and that Paramount is aiming for a June 27, 2014 release date. Beyond that, we’re left guessing.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.