In a move sure to further strengthen the movie's appeal in China, Michael Bay has cast popular entertainer Han Geng in "Transformers 4," the movie's director and Paramount Pictures announced Sunday.
Han Geng is one of the most influential entertainers in China. He joins Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and Chinese actress Li Bingbing in the fourth installment in the series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toy line.
Paramount Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on June 27 of next year, and it will likely debut in China around that same date.
"Han Geng has been a sensation in China and we are happy to have him in our movie," said Bay. Geng, a one-time pop music sensation, is a star on the big and small screen in China. His most recent film starring role was in "So Young," a major box office hit in China, having earned more the $115 million.
Paramount, China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises in April announced a cooperation agreement for the production of "Transformers 4" in China.
Shooting in multiple locations in the U.S. and China throughout the summer, the film reunites much of the team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce; and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian.
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The third, and most recent installment of the franchise, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," is the fifth-highest global grossing film of all time with $1.12 billion. The "Transformers" movies are among the most popular films ever released in China, and "Dark of the Moon" grossed $165 million there in 2011.