Michael Bay’s latest giant robot adventure, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is now less than two months away. While you normally think that a big, tentpole movie like this would have all of its ducks in a row, so to speak, by this point in the game, that doesn’t mean every last bit is in place. In fact, two notable actors have just joined the party. Reports say that both John Goodman and Ken Watanabe have been added to the cast in voice only roles.
This news comes directly from Bay’s website. In an era in Hollywood where secrecy is king—just think of the layers of security surrounding every last detail for movies like J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar—the report actually says exactly what characters each actor will play.
Bay’s official statement reads:
I am pleased to welcome two gifted and versatile actors, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe, to the world of Transformers. And to reteam with Peter and Frank, who have brought Transformers characters alive from the beginning. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best voice talent in the business, and together we will introduce several exciting new robots to fans of the franchise around the world.
Goodman will lend his voice to the Autobot named Hound. Fans of the franchise will remember that he is a military Jeep in car form.
Watanabe, who audiences will also see in less than a week in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla reboot, will voice to Drift, a sports car who was a Decepticon but eventually becomes an Autobot.
These aren’t the only new additions to the voice cast. The report indicates that John DiMaggio will portray Crosshairs, Mark Ryan will voice Lockdown, Robert Foxworth will play Ratchet, and Reno Williams will provide the voice of Brains.
While it may be unusual to wait this long to fill so many roles, the animation and editing are most likely finished, or at least close, and dubbing in a few voices is relatively quick work on productions the scale of Age of Extinction. The Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which opens in August, also recently added the vocal talents of both Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub, and those are in key roles that will get a great deal of screen time, more than any of these smaller roles.
Set a few years after the destruction of Chicago in Dark of the Moon, Transformers have been vilified and outlawed. Age of Extinction follows an inventor named Cade (Mark Wahlberg) who finds and refurbishes the wreck of Optimus Prime, and just in time, too. Though the government may be building their own giant robots, but a new threat has just shown up on the scene, and there’s going to be a showdown.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens everywhere June 27, and if it isn’t the biggest box office hit of the summer, whatever the critics say, we’ll be very surprised.