Morning 5

Wahlberg Confirmed for 'Transformers 4', 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Finds a Writer and Kushner Writing for Spielberg Again

And Arkin joins a 'Grudge Match'

Transformers 4 logo
Photo: Paramount Pictures

1.) A press release from Paramount has confirmed the casting of Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4. "Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on Pain and Gain and I'm so fired up to be back working with him," said director Michael Bay. "An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers' legacy." I suppose the interesting thing here is that it sounds like Wahlberg is going to be the lead, whereas it was previously thought Bay would cast a new pair of high-schoolers to replace Shia Labeouf. The studio also sent along the new logo, which only makes me curious why they didn't go with the far catchier and more stylish Trans4mers as the title.

2.) Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) has reportedly written a 40-something page treatment for Star Wars: Episode VII, which will soon be crossing the desks of top directorial candidates. If true, this report would confirm my suspicions that Disney would raid the Pixar talent pool for Episode VII, and (in my opinion) make a pairing with director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) all the more likely. Arndt is also working on "The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind" for Up helmer Pete Docter. [Vulture]

3.) Tim Robbins will direct Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz and himself in the dysfunctional family comedy Man Under. The film follows a family dealing with their new celebrity status after they are profiled in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Arts. The film will mark the Dead Man Walking director's first theatrical release since 1999. [Deadline]

4.) Alan Arkin is in negotiations to join Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro in Grudge Match. Stallone and De Niro play former boxing rivals who come out of retirement and settle an old score. Stallone agrees to the fight so he can pay the medical bills of his old trainer (Arkin). Kim Basinger and Kevin Hart (Think Like a Man) are also on board for director Peter Segal (Get Smart), but I still haven't figured out if the film is a comedy or not. IMDb lists it as such, and it almost sounds too ridiculous not to be. [Variety]

5.) And finally, playwright and Lincoln scribe Tony Kushner is apparently "working on a new script for [Steven Spielberg]" and has been for "a couple of weeks" according to an interview with Kushner at EW. There's no additional word on what it could be and Spielberg's next is the Drew Goddard-penned sci-fi Robopocalypse. Kushner previously co-wrote Munich for Spielberg with Eric Roth so if history holds to form, we're probably looking at Kushner writing Spielberg's next Best Picture contender.

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  • Patrick Kendall

    Just saw a preview trailer for SW ep 7. The new director is Martin Scorsese of all people! friggin awesome! look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Ocvxu_Xoo&hd=1

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JDub/ John Wood

      Ha. That was pretty good.

  • drew sandoval

    Yo Kevin, TRans4mers is an awesome title.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/kevinblumeyer/ Kevin Blumeyer

      Thanks, man!

  • JN Films

    Michael Bay is going to ruin Wahlberg's career

  • adu

    Wahlberg, you fool!

  • Winchester

    Em.............I guess I would have to say if 'Shooter', 'Max Payne' and 'The Other Guys' didn't ruin Wahlberg's career Bay and Transformers 4 certainly won't considering he's had quite the run for an actor with generally only one facial expression.

    It'll probably give him a Billion Dollar movie though. Actually kind of a smart move really given his tendency the last few years to flick between serious directors/films and pop flicks.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Grissom/ Grissom

      The Other Guys wasn't one of Wahlberg's worst at all.

      • Jake17

        Neither is Shooter, compared to most of the crap he's been in.

        • Winchester

          To each their own at the end of the day. But 'Shooter' is kinda that bad.

    • Risa

      Spot on, man. By the way, a long belated thanks to you for saying that my "Brad Pitt rant" this time last year was the best thing you had read during that award season.

  • Luire

    How amazing would it be if Kushner worked on 'Interstellar'! Alas, Paramount took this project when DW split from it.

  • Topy

    Trans4mers is a catchy name. Maybe they'll eventually do it...

    "The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind" sounds like Osmosis Jones.

  • Arturo

    Great writer thus far

  • Scott

    Ironically, you couldn't really do worse than George Lucas himself, so anybody with a movie with good story structure and characters you root for in his or her credits would be a major improvement. So this looks more and more promising.