"Transformers 4" will be casting talent through a Chinese reality competition, "The Chinese Actors Talent Search," the China Movie Channel and its movie internet site, m1905, announced on Thursday during the Beijing International Film Festival.
Four winners will be selected for roles in Michael Bay's movie by judges Sid Ganis, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and present chairman of Jiaflix Enterprises; Lorenzo DiBonaventura, producer of "Transformers 4"; Denise Chamian, casting director for "Transformers 4"; Megan Colligan, president of marketing and distribution of Paramount Pictures; Jia Qi, deputy director of China Movie Channel; and Liang Longfei, vice president of m1905.
The competition, open to both professional and amateur actors, will begin broadcasting on Chinese channel CCTV-6 in early June. Applicants will register for their big break online at m1905.com. Two of the four prizes are reserved for contestants with no previous acting experience.
While American television has regularly been discovering talent through reality competition series for over a decade, the joint venture between Paramount, the China Movie Channel and Jiaflix marks the first time Hollywood has held a nationally televised talent search in China -- the world's second largest movie market.
"Transformers" has been wildly popular in the Asian country, with the third installement of the franchise, "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon," grossing $165 million of its $1.1 billion global haul in China.
"All of us working on 'Transformers 4' are 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," said Lorenzo DiBonaventura. "I want to wish all the actors and actresses who participate in our talent show the greatest luck. Your talent will be a great addition to the movie."