New Transformers: Age Of Extinction Images

See Michael Bay's latest in action

The new issue of Empire is out today, and we have gone big rather than home with our cover movie, Transformers: Age Of Extinction. Yes, Michael Bay's back, but this time he's accompanied by Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles and Nicola Peltz. Oh, and some gigantic robots. Check out our exclusive stills and from behind-the-scenes images below.

This fourth film in the franchise is something of a fresh start, and sees an Earth scarred by the events of the last three films but moving on after the disappearance of all giant robots (although we're guessing that everyone gives their car a suspicious look in the morning, lest it suddenly turn into a giant mechanoid). In particular, Shia LaBeouf and family have moved on and we have some new leads.

When Mark Wahlberg's inventor, Cade Yeager, discovers a buried Transformer, the stage is set for the return of the giant beasties. There will also be some business with Cade's daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz); her secret racing driver boyfriend Shane; Stanley Tucci's Joshua; his geologist assistant Darcy (Sophia Myles); "the CEO of the Chinese Transformers", played by Li Bingbing; and Kelsey Grammer's Harold Attinger, the film's non-robot big bad.

"I'm feeling really good about this one. I love my cast," Bay told us. "There's a huge scale to this, but also huge soul."

Mark Wahlberg also seemed to be enjoying the experience when we visited the set. "Ted was a good tool to prepare me for this," he said. "Having to identify with things that aren't there. The bear prepped me for that. And as embarrassing as doing things like the fight sequence with him were - just throwing myself around a room for 12 hours while the crew just sat eating sandwiches and watching - it taught me how to do this shit."

It also looks like this will not be the last instalment of the series, with Bay open to continuing the franchise, it seems. "Well, it's a director's world... It's a franchise world at the moment. You know, Peter Jackson is still in Middle-earth..."

Empire Magazine's Transformers: Age of Extinction covers

If you want to read much, much more about the film, get thee to the magazine! Pick it up from all good, bad and undecided newsagents or in digital form today, or subscribe so you never miss an issue.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction, meanwhile, arrives on July 10, 2014.