Michael Bay's out, Megan Fox is in. Or maybe Bay is in. And Shia LaBeouf's definitely not returning... Unless he does. Same with Mark Wahlberg. The fifth installment of the robot smashing blockbuster is shrouded in rumour and mystery. With millions of dollars to earn, it's a dead cert that Transformers 5 will be made, but how and by whom is still up for debate. And with many people protesting that more films would really be overkill, how can the franchise revitalise the story, and pull back its loyal fans?
Actual Superstar Shia LaBeouf
LaBeouf's career has been such a rollercoaster in the past few years. From humble(ish) beginnings as the Disney channel's go-to everykid to unhinged arty superstar, LaBeouf never fails to entertain. Late 90s kids like me will always have a soft spot for the intense actor. After all, we grew up watching him in Even Stevens (what a show) and Holes (otherwise known as the best book-movie adaptation EVER).
It's true, we may laugh when we find out about his latest media frenzy escapade, but it's a fond laugh, the one you would give to that nutty cousin who the family has given up on but you still love because they always bring you candy. Ok, that was a laboured point but you know what I mean. Plus, LaBeouf has proved he's a good sport - who can forget how he responded to the Actual Cannibal song, not by getting angry and distancing himself from it, but by throwing himself into the action...
And as much as we believe in him, his latest internet explosion proves he believes in us to. (If you haven't checked out the motivational video yet, dO IT, DO IT NOW!) We like Shia. And you better believe we want to see him in movies about robots that transform into cars (or is it the other way around?)
But will it happen?
Eh.... Maybe. Both LaBeouf and Megan Fox (who should also jump back into this franchise) have had tiffs with Michael Bay. While Fox and Bay have supposedly patched things up after working together on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, LaBeouf has not been so pally with the director. But now that Michael Bay has left the Transformers Franchise to pursue loftier projects, could LaBeouf reprise his role?
Hmmm... Not unless he's willing to go back on his latest rant. The actor recently shared his feelings about Bumblebee, one of his closest Transformer allies.
"Bumblebee never sounds real, it’s just a fucking name. The name alone you can never make real, no matter how much you put into it, because on the other side you have a director who doesn’t believe it either."
(But Shia, Bumblebee was your friend! How can you turn on him like this?!)
He has a point though - Transformers is a pretty silly franchise, and the names are sillier. But that's the fun of it! We don't go to see these films for our intellectual development, we go because we want to relax and watch superstars team up with robot-car-war machines.
But LaBeouf also spoke out against the franchise in a freestyle rap which was... actually pretty good? Check it out if you haven't already - worth seeing if only for LaBeouf's ridiculously long rat tail. So it seems that he wants to distance himself from the films. It makes sense - LaBeouf clearly wants to be taken seriously as an actor after years of being the child star who just grew up. He's done edgy performance art pieces, and showcased his intense method acting in Fury.
But maybe that's exactly what the Transformers films need: an edgier style, more intense acting, and a director who believes in the joy of the source material. So we have one thing to say to the casting directors thinking of hiring Shia LaBeouf for Transformers 5: JUST DOOO IIIIIIT!!!!