The Autobots will roll out on the streets of Detroit again when filming gets underway on Transformers 5. Michael Bay is returning to direct the fifth installment; reportedly his last before he hands over the reins, and his farewell go at the helm will return him to the familiar Michigan metropolis where the director also filmed parts of Transformers, Dark Side of the Moon and Age of Extinction. Despite the franchise’s history with the state, the location comes as a bit of a surprise, as Michigan legislation ended the film office incentive program in July of 2015.
Thanks to some clever wheeling and dealing by Paramount Pictures, Transformers 5 is getting a hefty incentive all the same. The studio will receive $21 million in State incentives for filming in Michigan by shuffling existing incentives for other approves Paramount production into a single agreement for Transformers 5. While the legislation prohibits new agreements with production companies, those agreements made before the program was discontinued must be honored, and since Paramount’s approved projects hadn’t yet started production (or received those incentives), the studio was able to reallocate the funds to Transformers 5.
It’s also a good deal for Michigan, who gets to knock out those approved incentives sooner than later, as well as reap the economic benefits of having such a massive production in-state. Paramount and Michigan anticipate an $80 million spend for the Detroit-based portion of production, which will result in about 850 cast and crew hires, 450 of which will be Michigan residents equating to 228 full-time positions, as well as 700 extras.
In a statement, Jenell Leonard, commissioner of the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office says,“Having one of the highest-profile film franchises created in Michigan is a major economic boost and a testament to the talent of the state’s production community…The production and economic investment is now happening sooner rather than later, and obviously, the project is a certainty rather than merely a possibility.”
Transformers 5 will be the first of many, many, many (seriously, like 10 years worth) of new Transformers films imagined by the writers room of screenwriters spearheaded by seriously, like 10 years worth) of new Transformers films imagined by the writers room of screenwriters spearheaded by Akiva Goldsman, including plans for a Bumblebee spinoff film. Mark Wahlberg is also set to return in the lead for Bay’s last ride. In addition to Detroit, Transformers 5 will film across locations worldwide and is set to arrive in theaters on June 23, 2017.