Chinese Reality Show Will Choose Four Actors for ‘Transformers 4′
Paramount Pictures announced in early April that the next installment in Michael Bay's "Transformers" franchise will be partially shot in China, and some of the content will be shaped with the Chinese market in mind, with the help of co-producers China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises. Now Paramount has come up with a novel way to cast some of the Chinese roles in the movie – a reality show will give both professional and amateurs a chance to show their stuff and win a part opposite those shape shifting robots.
Called "The Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Talent Search" (heck of a title, guys), the show will begin airing in China in June, and will feature members of the American and Chinese production teams evaluating would-be film stars. There will be separate categories for professional actors and contestants with no prior experience, with two winners in each segment earning roles in "Transformers 4." Other roles for Chinese actors will also be cast in a more traditional fashion.
The American judges will include Sid Ganis, former head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who is now chairman of Jiaflix; Megan Colligan, a market and distribution executive with Paramount; "Transformers 4" casting director Denise Chamian; and producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura. China is represented on the jury by Jia Qi, deputy director or China Movie Channel, and Liang Longfei, VP at m1905, the Chinese network airing the series.
Competitive reality shows are currently very popular on Chinese television, and the show should give the producers of "Transformer 4" a chance to ingratiate themselves with Chinese audience and generate plenty of publicity in a growing market.
In a statement to Chinese media, Ganis told reporters "The Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Talent Search" will "give actors and fans of the 'Transformers' franchise the opportunity to be appearing in a major motion picture, and it will provide the world audience yet another glimpse of the Chinese people, the Chinese culture and China itself."
There hasn't been any word yet on what stunts the actors will have to perform in order to win a part in the movie, though the ability to turn yourself into a SUV at will would almost certainly help.