A few weeks ago, Paramount Pictures announced that Michael Bay’s Transformers 4 will be a co-production with the Chinese movie production companies China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises. This will give Transformers 4 guaranteed access to movie theaters throughout China, but part of the deal is that a portion of Transformers 4 must be shot in China and feature Chinese actors. To build brand recognition and awareness in China, Paramount Pictures has created a reality TV show to find Chinese actors for Transformers 4.
THR is reporting that the series will be called Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Talent Search. It will be a competition-based TV series that will search for four actors — two with professional acting experience and two without — who will win roles in the upcoming Transformers movie. The show will air this June in China.
The panel judges for the series will be made up of studio executives from Paramount Pictures, China Movie Channel, and Jiaflix Enterprises, including Sid Ganis, the former head of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the current chairman of Jiaflix; the film’s producer, Lorenzo DiBonaventura; casting director Denise Chamian; and Paramount’s marketing and distribution chief, Megan Colligan.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the fourth highest grossing movie in China (behind James Cameron’s Avatar) with a nationwide $165 million box office take, so Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay are counting on Transformers 4 to see the same success overseas. How do you say Allspark Cube in Chinese?
Transformers 4 will feature Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Brenton Thwaites, and Stanley Tucci. The Michael Bay film will hit theaters everywhere on June 27, 2014, in 3D and IMAX.