Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures have announced that Chinese actress, Li Bingbing ("Resident Evil: Retribution") has been cast in "Transformers 4." The actress joins Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz and Sophia Myles in the fourth installment in the hit series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 27th, 2014.
“I am excited to have Li Bingbing join our cast and to be shooting portions of the movie in her native China. I have always aspired to work with the best actors and this cast is especially exciting now with the addition of Li,” said Michael Bay.
In her native country of China, Li has many hits including the Tsui Hark-directed "Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame" and "1911." In America, Li has starred in "Resident Evil: Retribution," "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," and "Forbidden Kingdom." She was recently named Variety's "Asian Star of the Year."
Here's the rest of the press release:
“I am thrilled to get to work with Michael Bay. ‘TRANSFORMERS’ has influenced generations in China and the movie franchise has a massive fan base. I am very happy to be able to join this international production. Thank you Paramount for the invitation! Looking forward to it!” said Li Bingbing.
Paramount, China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises announced this past April a Cooperation Agreement regarding the production of “TRANSFORMERS 4” in China. Under the agreement, China Movie Channel, under the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT), will cooperate with Paramount in broad-based support of the production of the film in China. “TRANSFORMERS 4” is expected to be released in China on or about June 27, 2014. The parties also intend to cooperate in a number of other areas related to “TRANSFORMERS 4,” including the selection of filming sites within China, theatrical promotion, and possible post-production activities in China as well as casting of Chinese actors and actresses in the film.
This agreement represents the first time that China Movie Channel will work with a western studio in the production of a major motion picture.
“We are delighted to see Ms. Li Bingbing being selected for a major role in ‘TRANSFORMERS 4,’ a very successful global film franchise,” said Yan Xiaoming, Chairman of China Movie Channel. “Ms. Li is an excellent and famous Chinese actress with many fans in China. She has had many successful projects with China Movie Channel and M1905.com in the past. We wish her every success in ‘TRANSFORMERS 4’ and with the worldwide audience that will enjoy her great talent.”
Said Sid Ganis, Chairman of Jiaflix, “Li Bingbing is an enormously talented Chinese artist who is fast becoming a worldwide movie star and is a great addition to a stellar cast.”
Shooting this summer in multiple locations in the U.S. and China, the film is directed by Bay and re-unites the filmmaking team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce; and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. “TRANSFORMERS 4” is written by Ehren Kruger, based on Hasbro’s Transformers™ Action Figures.
The third, and most recent installment of the franchise, “TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON,” is the fifth highest global grossing film of all time with $1.124 billion dollars of worldwide box office success. The “TRANSFORMERS” movies are among the most popular films ever released in China, and Michael Bay is among the most popular directors with Chinese audiences. “TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON,” released theatrically in 2011, grossed $165 million in China and more than $1.1 billion worldwide.
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Jonathan Rhys Meyers is supposedly in talks to star in "Star Wars: Episode VII" according to our friends at Latino Review. Meyers could be the first actor to join the cast alongside, possibly, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. J.J. Abrams is directing the new "Star Wars" sequel, fresh from creating "Star Trek Into Darkness."
Meyers has worked with Abrams before in "Mission: Impossible III." And lest you doubt Latino Review, the site has a pretty good track record for breaking movie news, like how they revealed the real identity of the "Star Trek Into Darkness" villain, long before it was revealed.
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"Star Trek" On Top...But Not That Much, And Yes Old Sport, "The Great Gatsby" Beat "Star Trek" and "Iron Man 3" Overseas!
So the biggest question this past weekend in Hollywood -- what happened to "Star Trek Into Darkness?" Paramount, the studio behind the latest "Star Trek" saga, predicted, really hoped, that "Star Trek Into Darkness" would open at $100 million. But alas, the latest J.J. Abrams film under-performed at just $84.1 million, and that's including the Wednesday midnight screenings and the hefty IMAX price-tag. Without those, "Star Trek Into Darkness" $70.6 million domestic and $40 million international.
That was well below the first J.J. Abrams-directed "Star Trek" released in 2009 which opened with $75.2 million. Still, it's enough to bring down "Iron Man 3" which fell to No. 2 with $35.2 million domestic and $40.2 million international.
Sure, "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Iron Man 3" made gazillions of dollars overseas but they're no match for Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" which made $42.1 million overseas ahead of the science fiction films. Domestically, "The Great Gatsby" was sitting pretty at No. 3 with $23.4 million. Yup old sport, "The Great Gatsby" is a hit!
Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office Films for weekend of May 17th:
1. "Star Trek: Into Darkness," $70.6 million ($40 million international).
2. "Iron Man 3," $35.2 million ($40.2 million international).
3. "The Great Gatsby," $23.4 million ($42.1 million international)
4. "Pain & Gain," $3.1 million.
5. "The Croods," $2.75 million.
6. "42," $2.73 million.
7. "Oblivion," $2.2 million.
8. "Mud," $2.16 million.
9. "Peeples," $2.15 million.
10. "The Big Wedding," $1.1 million.
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Truth be told, I didn’t know what to expect interviewing Woody Harrelson. He’s a fantastic actor, and I grew up watching “Cheers,” but I had no idea that the actor was also a great father (witness how he playfully interacts with his daughter in this interview) and a man with conviction! And he was also sweet!
In the unpredictable “Now You See Me” opening May 31st, Harrelson stars as Merritt Osbourne, a hypnotist who becomes an integral part of the Four Horsemen – a group of magicians who rob banks to help people, like modern day Robin Hoods.
In this interview, we talked about:
*** I love that he called by my first name! HA!
*** How his lunch with Jesse Eisenberg made him want to star in “Now You See Me”
*** Almost his Hannibal approach to his character
*** How he prepared for his character
*** (his daughter brought him wheat grass and juice!)
*** He then proceeded to hypnotize me! It worked!!!
*** He called me awesommmmme!
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I love Mark Ruffalo! The actor is sweet and down-to-earth in real life! We all know him, of course, as Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Hulk in the mega-successful “Marvel’s The Avengers.” But we love him in smaller films like “The Kids are All Right” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” In the new movie “Now You See Me” opening May 31st, the actor stars as Dylan Hobbs, the detective out to get our Four Horsemen played by Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dave Franco.
In this interview, we talked about:
*** I love how he kept on calling my name!
*** His reaction reading the script by Boaz Yakin, Ed Solomon, and Edward Ricourt for the first time
*** His character’s aspirations
*** The antagonists and the protagonists
*** It’s like “The Avengers” with magicians
*** How has his life changed since “The Avengers?”
*** Why “Now You See Me” is better than “The Avengers” for his kids at least
*** He will continue working on smaller, thought-provoking, independent movies! Yay!
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