Good news, Autobot fans! "Transformers 4" is a go, and word has been leaked on what will be happening in the next installment of the franchise. The source? The good people at the Michigan Film Office.
The State of Michigan offers tax incentives and some degree of official cooperation to deserving filmmakers who come to the Mitten State to make movies. On Wednesday, the Michigan Film Office's official website not only broke the news that Michael Bay will be shooting the next "Transformers" picture in the Detroit area (as he did with the first film in the series in 2007 and "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" in 2011), but offered some clues about what we can expect to see in "Transformers 4." Given that Bay, Hasbro, and Paramount Pictures have been very tight lipped about the story so far (the picture doesn't even have an official title at this time), this comes as a major surprise for fans.
(Spoiler alert! Skip the next paragraph if you don't want to know the story yet!)
According the posted press release, the fearsome battles at the end of "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" have left the planet in ruins, and mankind is trying to rebuild as Autobots and Decepticons fade from the scene. Trying to learn from their mistakes, surviving scientists and entrepreneurs begin designing a new generation of Transformers that will employ more advanced technology. But as this happens, a mean-spirited Transformer from another world arrives on Earth to take over the planet, and the stage is set for another epic-scale battle between the forces of good and evil.
(OK, we're done with the spoilers. You can come back now.)
Along with the first reliable synopsis, the Michigan Film Office revealed that "Transformers 4" is scheduled to begin shooting in the spring, and the numbers indicate this will be another over-the-top production from Michael Bay. Michigan is awarding a $20 million tax incentive on an in-state expenditure of well over $81 million, and there will be 368 local employees on the shoot. Keep in mind that this is just what's happening in Michigan – post-production and effects work will likely be happening elsewhere.
"It speaks volumes about all Michigan has to offer that 'Transformers' is returning once again to our state," said Margaret O’Riley, the director of the Michigan Film Office, in statement on their website. "This project will shine another bright spotlight on Michigan and provide tremendous opportunities for our cast, crew and support services."
It will also bring a few famous people back to the state, as Mark Wahlberg and Jack Reynor have been confirmed so far for the cast. Ehren Kruger, who wrote the screenplays for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon," is scripting the fourth adventure as well. As for more details, we'll know everything by June 2014, when the film is scheduled to reach theaters.
UPDATE (3/21) : The Michigan Film Office page has been updated to remove the story synopsis.