Mark Wahlberg and Michael Bay are injecting some good, old-fashioned transformation into the Motor City and the Michigan economy – to the tune of an estimated $65 million. The Transformers 4 star and director have brought the blockbuster franchise into Detroit for filming over the next 6 weeks.
An entire section of downtown Detroit has been made to appear like Hong Kong. The transformation is right under the monorail (that will continue to offer service with occasional stops right through filming), where Asian-style structures have been built and Chinese signage has been placed in local storefronts.
According to Transformers 4 producer Ian Bryce, the set has been built for the climatic third act of the film. “There will be some pyrotechnics,” said Bryce, “and the usual Transformers crash, bang and wallop.”
The science-fiction action film is the fourth installment in the live-action Transformers film franchise. It is the sequel to Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon, and takes place four years after Chicago was invaded.
Mark Wahlberg (Ted, Pain & Gain) has replaced Shia LeBeouf in the leading role, trading LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky for a new character named Flynn Vincent. Jack Reynor (What Richard Did, Dollhouse), plays Flynn’s daughter’s boyfriend, a race car driver. The franchise is taking advantage of a good working relationship with the Motor City to use several GM vehicles for chase scenes, races and getaways in the production.
Nicloa Peltz (The Last Airbender) plays Flynn’s daughter, while Kelsey Grammer (X-Men:The Last Stand) plays Harold Attinger, the film’s human villain and antagonist. Stanley Tucci and Lucas Black also star.
The script is by Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Revenge Of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark Side Of The Moon).Paramount Pictures, Michael Bay, mark Wahlberg, China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises are producing, with Steven Spielberg executive producing.
Transformers 4 opens June 27, 2014.