When Michael Bay’s robot explosions return in Transformers 4, we could be seeing a markedly different type of setting being blown to bits. Paramount is apparently hoping to set Bay’s Mark Wahlberg-fronted Transformers sequel in mainland China. The reasoning is less a creative choice and more about box office: the studio hopes that by filming in China and possibly partnering with a local production company, the chances of Transformers 4 getting a wide release in China (and thus bringing in more money) will be greater. Hit the jump for more.
Per Vulture, Bay and Paramount are actively looking to have China be the setting for Transformers 4. This kind of decision isn’t exactly surprising, as many studios have been looking for ways to maximize their profits overseas now that China is allowing more American films to be released in the country. The Chinese only exhibit 3D and/or IMAX films, so we’ve already seen a number of studios tack on a 3D post-conversion to some of their blockbusters in order to automatically qualify them for a Chinese release.
Odds are that Bay will utilize both 3D and IMAX on the upcoming Transformers 4 just as he did with Transformers: Dark of the Moon, though also filming in China will almost certainly guarantee that the country will screen the upcoming sequel (as will the universal appeal of seeing stuff blown up real good). We know that the story reportedly revolves around a father, his daughter, and his daughter’s race car driver boyfriend, but nothing else is known about the plot at this time. The script is currently still in development, so I imagine much of it is flexible with regards to the decision to set the action in China. THR reports that producers have also been scouting Thailand as a location, but Vulture insists that the majority of the action will likely take place in China.
Though this is obviously a decision dictated by bottom-line concerns, I actually think this would be a smart creative move as well. How many more American landscapes can we really see get demolished by robots? The change of setting will spice things up visually while (hopefully) providing an interesting story outlet for the characters. As Bay is currently casting the younger roles in the film opposite Wahlberg in anticipation of production beginning next year, hopefully we hear more soon. Transformers 4 opens on June 27, 2014.