Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third film in the Transformers film series, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel toTransformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and is scheduled for release on July 1, 2011, in Real D 3D. It will also be released in 2D.
Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro and Ramón Rodríguez are set to reprise their starring roles, with Peter Cullen returning as the voice ofOptimus Prime. Ehren Kruger, who collaborated in the writing of the second film, was said to be again involved in the writing. Despite having initially been confirmed for the film, and with the film already into principal photography, it was announced that Megan Fox would not be reprising her role from the previous two films. With Fox’s character Mikaela being dropped, Sam was assigned a new love interest, who will be played by English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Also, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, having written the first two films, will not return for the third installment in the series, which Orci had earlier somewhat anticipated, fearing the duo would “risk getting stale”. Bay has stated this would be the last installment in the series.
As a preemptive measure, Michael Lucchi and Paramount announced a July 1, 2011 release date in IMAX 3-D for a third Transformers film before completion ofRevenge of the Fallen. Director Michael Bay responded, “I said I was taking off a year from Transformers. Paramount made a mistake in dating Transformers 3—they asked me on the phone—I said yes to July 1—but for 2012—whoops! Not 2011! That would mean I would have to start prep in September. No way. My brain needs a break from fighting robots.”
On October 1, 2009, Bay revealed that Transformers: Dark of the Moon had already gone into pre-production, and its planned release was back to its originally intended date of July 1, 2011 rather than 2012.Filming started in May 2010, with shooting locations including Chicago, Florida, and Moscow. Due to the revived interest in 3-D technology brought in by the success of Avatar, talks between Paramount,Industrial Light & Magic and Bay had considered the possibility of the next Transformers film to be filmed in 3-D. Testing has been performed in bringing the technology into Bay’s work. Michael Bay was reluctant to film with 3-D cameras since in test he’d found them to be too clunky for his filming style, but he didn’t want to implement the technology in post production either since he was not pleased with the results.
In a hidden extra for the Blu-ray version of Revenge of the Fallen, Bay expressed his intention to make Transformers 3 not necessarily larger than Revenge of the Fallen, but instead go deeper into the mythos, give it more character development, and make it darker and more emotional. Shortly after the release of Revenge of the Fallen, Orci said he would like to introduce Unicron “for scale’s sake”, and Unicron is seen during the Transformers 3 preview video in the Revenge of the Fallen Blu-ray edition, but no comment is made on the subject.
Having been called Transformers 3 up to that point, the film’s final title was revealed to be Dark of the Moon in October 2010.
As of March 19, 2010, the script was said to be finished, and pre-shoots began on April 7, 2010 in Indiana, which will portray Ukraine and Los Angeles. Filming began on May 18. The first six weeks took place in Los Angeles, locations included Sherman Oaks, Fourth Avenue and 5. Main. The next four weeks were spent inChicago. Locations filmed in Chicago included LaSalle Street, Michigan Avenue, Bacino’s of Lincoln Park at 2204 North Lincoln Avenue and around the “Sears Tower“.The scenes set in Michigan Ave featured a substantial amount of pyrotechnics and stunt work. Filming in Detroit was planned to take place August but the Chicago shoot was extended until 1 September. In late September the production moved to Florida, just before the launch of Space Shuttle mission STS-133. While filming in Washington the crew shot on the National Mall, Michael Bay stated that there would be a car race on the location. Two further locations announced were the Milwaukee Art Museum and an old factory location of Tower Automotive, currently under redevelopment for mixed use as well as the City of Milwaukee equipment yard. Filming was scheduled to take place there after work was done in Chicago. On September 23, filming was done at the former city hall in Detroit, MI. On October 16, work was done at the Johnson Space Center in Texas with intent to shoot a scene set in the late 1960s utilizing extras with period fashion and hairstyles. Other planned filming locations included Africa, Moscow, and China. The film is being shot entirely in 3D using the Sony Pace 3D Camera system used for Resident Evil: Afterlife.Filming was officially completed on November 9, 2010. On November 26, it was announced the film had entered post-production.
Filming was temporarily delayed on September 2, 2010 in Hammond, Indiana, when an extra was seriously injured during a stunt. The accident happened when a steel cable snapped from a car being towed, owing to a failed welding, hitting the extra’s car and damaging her skull. The extra, identified as Gabriella Cedillo, had to undergo brain surgery. The injury has left her permanently brain-damaged, paralyzed on her left side and her left eye stitched shut. As a result, Paramount took responsibility for the accident and decided to cover all medical costs incurred by Cedillo. In spite of this, on October 5, Cedillo’s family filed a lawsuit, which cites seven counts of negligence against Paramount, D.W. Studios and several other defendants (not including Bay), with total damages sought in excess of US$350,000. The outcome of the lawsuit ultimately cleared the studio from responsibility since all safety precautions were in place, and deemed the accident as unforeseeable.
Then, on October 11, while filming a chase scene at 3rd Street and Maryland Avenue, SW, a Washington DC Metropolitan Police K9 Unit SUV struck the Camaro that portrays Bumblebee in the film. The area had been closed off by the DC police, and it is not clear why the SUV was there. Both drivers were uninjured, but the Camaro was severely damaged.
Cast and characters
- Shia LaBeouf plays Sam Witwicky. The leading human character who is friends with the Autobots. It seems that Sam will possess a power glove in the movie.
- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley plays Carly. Sam’s new love Interest who was in the original 1984 animated series. Huntington-Whiteley had worked with director Michael Bay before in various Victoria’s Secretcommercials. Other actresses considered for the role included Gemma Arterton, Bar Refaeli, Miranda Kerr and Brooklyn Decker.
- Josh Duhamel plays Major William Lennox. The leader of NEST, an international taskforce battling Decepticons with the Autobots.
- Tyrese Gibson plays Chief Robert Epps. A combat controller and a member of NEST.
- John Turturro plays Agent Seymour Simmons. A former agent of the terminated Sector 7 unit.
- Patrick Dempsey plays Dylan, Carly’s boss, who is a race-car driver with a huge collection of cars. Dempsey described his role as “darker” than others and “significant to the plot”. Dempsey was initially cast to play Mikaela’s boss but with Mikaela out of the movie, he’ll be playing Carly’s boss.
- Ramón Rodríguez plays Leo Spitz. Sam’s former roommate from the last movie.
- Kevin Dunn and Julie White play Ron and Judy Witwicky, Sam’s parents.
- Glenn Morshower plays General Morshower, A NEST member who communicates with the squad in the Pentagon.
- Lester Speight plays Hardcore Eddie. The new NEST Member. He is an old school soldier who has seen it all and done it all and fought in war along with Epps’ father many years ago.
- Alan Tudyk plays Dutch, Agent Simmons’ assistant.
- John Malkovich plays Bruce, Sam’s first boss.
- Frances McDormand plays Marissa Faireborn, Director of National Intelligence.
According to representatives for Paramount, Megan Fox will not appear in the film because Bay ultimately chose not to renew Fox’s role, although representatives for the actress said that it was her decision to leave the film franchise. With Fox not reprising her role, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was chosen to play Sam’s new love interest. Ken Jeong will have an undisclosed role in the film, and Kym Whitley has declared being involved in the shoots. A casting call for extras for the film has been said to call for actors to play Iranian military men for scenes to be filmed in Los Angeles, and reportedly the Ukrainian armywill be involved as well. Glee‘s Iqbal Theba confirmed on Twitter that he will have a cameo appearance as the secretary-general of the United Nations.
- Peter Cullen voices Optimus Prime, the Autobot leader. He retains his vehicle mode of a blue Peterbilt 379 truck with red flame decals, with the addition of a trailer similar to his G1 counterpart. He was modified to look more heroic.
- Bumblebee, Sam’s guardian that turns into a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. Bumblebee has also gone through some changes, his vehicle mode featuring a new body kit and paint job. He was modified to look more mature.
- Ironhide, the Autobot weapons specialist who transforms into a GMC Topkick.
- Ratchet, the Autobot medic who transforms into a search and rescue Hummer H2. Ratchet also had some changes done to his vehicle form, he has been painted green and white.
- Sideswipe, the Autobot whose vehicle mode is a silver Chevrolet Corvette Centennial now upgraded into a convertible.
- An Autobot who will debut as a Ferrari 458 Italia. Bay said that the Autobot will have an Italian accent and personally refers to it as “Dreadbox”.
- An Autobot will debut as a Red/Black Rosenbauer Panther fire truck.
- James Avery will provide the voice of Silverbolt.
- The Wreckers, an Autobot sub-team that transform into heavily armed NASCAR Chevrolet Impala stock cars equipped with machine guns. They function as a Commando Unit. One of them will be voiced byBill Fagerbakke. The Wreckers are:
- Two Autobots that transform into Chevrolet Sparks.
- A blue Mercedes-Benz E550 will debut as an Autobot, he is confirmed to be the same robot whose form looks similar to Albert Einstein.
- Wheelie, a blue radio-controlled toy monster truck who used to be a Decepticon before he joined the Autobots.
- Megatron, the Decepticon Leader that has changed his vehicle mode to an armored rusty Mack Titan 10-wheeler tank truck equipped with heavy weaponry.
- Starscream, the air commander who transforms into an F-22 Raptor.
- Soundwave, Megatron’s communication officer.
- Shockwave, who will act as one of the film’s main villains. Corey Burton, who performed Shockwave’s voice in all of Shockwave’s major animated appearances was offered the role, but he declined it, soDavid Warner is being considered to voice him.
- A Decepticon has been revealed to turn into an armored security truck.
- The Dreads, a group of Decepticon clones that turn into Chevrolet Suburban emergency vehicles.
It has been said that two robot assassins that will appear and murder humans in a scene filmed in Sherman Oaks. There will be a scene which will involve a huge Decepticon tipping over a building which Sam is in.
Release and marketing
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is set to be released on July 1, 2011 in 3D. Although originally set to be released in both conventional and IMAX theaters, it was recently announced no IMAX 3D shots were made for the film. On November 27, it was confirmed that a two-minute announced trailer would be attached with Tron: Legacy and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2D and 3D after a response from Michael Bay about the 3D rumors. Said trailer was posted to the web on December 9, 2010. The trailer depicts the Apollo 11 moon landing, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin discoveringThe Ark crashed on the moon.
Most of the characters will return for Hasbro‘s new toyline, which is due out on May 16, 2011. In October, Entertainment Tonight previewed the behind-the-scenes filming in Chicago. Following that, the official film website was changed with the logo and the release date under it.
During Hasbro Investor Day, it was announced that the DVD and Blu-ray Disc will be released in the fourth quarter 2011.
Activision is set to make a video game for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii. They will also make a game for the Nintendo 3DS, but it wasn’t said if the game would be separated by Autobots and Decepticons like in the previous games.