Michael Bay and some of his team have already gone on the record about the direction of new robo-franchise entry Transformers: Age Of Extinction. But lest you thought that this latest offering of Optimus Prime real estate wipes the slate totally clean, story-wise, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura is here to set you straight.
“It’s definitely not a reboot. It’s an interesting question about what you should call it,” the producer tells Hollywood News. “On a certain level it’s a continuation of the previous stories, in the fact that it acknowledges what has transpired before it. It acknowledges in the last movie, the destruction of Chicago, it’s actually something that carries through the sort of emotional repercussions of that, not unlike 9/11 has emotional repercussions in the real world. In a fantasy world there are repercussions to what occurred."
Of course, some things will be very different, notably the humans running around in front of the camera, who this time include Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, T.J. Miller and Kelsey Grammer.
“That plays into the movie, moving forwards with a totally different human cast, who doesn’t know anything about the other humans, it’s not a reboot, but a continuation, yet you’re continuing with a new cast and group of characters. It was a big decision to do that. The advantage of doing it this way is that it feels almost like a first movie. It’s a very different dynamic than I’ve seen in a movie, I’m very curious. I guess Star Wars did that a little bit, but not so close together, the way we’re doing it.”
Plot-wise, this fourth film sees an Earth indeed scarred by the events of the last three films but moving on after the disappearance of all giant robots. When 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 (Peltz); her secret racing driver boyfriend Shane (Reynor); Tucci's Joshua; his geologist assistant Darcy (Sophia Myles) and Grammer's Harold Attinger, the film's non-robot big bad.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction is out on July 10, 2014. For much more on the film, you can track down the January issue of Empire, still available in digital formats.