Tentpole director-producer Michael Bay has extended and expanded his first-look agreement with Paramount Pictures. The new deal, just announced, extends the current agreement with Bay’s production company Platinum Dunes for an additional three years, and also expands it to cover Bay Films. The pact begins immediately. This seems like a no-brainer for the studio: Bay’s pics have made more than $6 billion at the global box office, and his hits for Paramount include the Transformers series, the latest of which, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, is at $966.4 million worldwide since its release a month ago. In all, the four pics have grossed $3.7 billion.
“With an ever-growing, worldwide fan base, Michael is truly one of the most inspired and beloved filmmakers of our time,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said. “We take great pride in the fact that Michael is part of the Paramount family and we look forward to growing our productive and successful partnership.”
Bay’s other popcorn pics include The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island, the Bad Boys movies and Pain & Gain. Platinum Dunes partners Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are next up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in August, horror pic Ouija and Project Almanac and a Friday The 13th reboot due in 2015.
Platinum Dunes is having a good run on the TV side too, with The Last Ship debuting this summer as cable TV’s top new series, and Starz’s swashbuckling pirate adventure series/Treasure Island prequel Black Sails, which seems destined for a third-season pickup. Read More »
Even by Michael Bay standards, the filmmaker finishes a pyrotechnic weekend that is a career high watermark for movies and TV. His Transformers: Age Of Extinction might cross $100 million domestic on its opening weekend (a shade less than the $108 million done by Transformers 3), and passed $200 million international (biggest offshore opener this year) to generate $300 million in total ticket sales. Those who stayed home had to deal with Bay’s TNT drama The Last Ship, which aired tonight with hopes to build on a June 22 premiere of the post apocalyptic drama that totaled 5.3 million total viewers. Its 1.2 rating among the 18-49 demo in that debut episode made it the second highest-rated drama debut in the past few weeks and the best cable result so far this summer. There are already expectations that Bay will do his fifth Transformers installment (he, Peter Jackson and James Cameron seem comfortable working in their respective billion dollar franchise sandboxes over and over), but I hear Bay might want to take a break and direct a smaller movie next, as he did with Pain & Gain. There is always the prospect of Bad Boys 3 kicking around. Bay overhauled the Transformers storyline with his Pain & Gain star Mark Wahlberg. Has Bay positioned himself and Wahlberg to drive the next few installments of the saga?
Here’s the latest trailer for the Michael Bay-produced and Jonathan Liebesman-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Megan Fox and Will Arnett star in the origin story which focuses on four unlikely outcast brothers who rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles team up with fearless reporter April O’Neil (Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Arnett) to save New York City from Shredder and his evil Foot Clan. Paramount releases the pic August 8. Check it out:
“After all we’ve done, humans are hunting us,” a brooding Optimus Prime tells Mark Wahlberg, later adding bluntly, “This is not war — it’s human extinction.” Here’s the latest look at Chapter 4 of Michael Bay‘s toy story-turned-moneymaking machine. Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, T.J. Miller and Ken Watanabe co-star in Transformers: Age Of Extinction, which was penned by Ehren Kruger and again counts Steven Spielberg among its executive producers. There are crashes, explosions, general mayhem and peril — lots of peril. Paramount opens the Hasbro-spawned film June 27. Here’s the trailer:
Maybe hell won’t have to freeze over before you hear the words, ‘and the Oscar goes to Transformers: Age Of Extinction.‘ Paramount and director Michael Bay have gotten the Grammy-winning band Imagine Dragons to contribute original songs to the movie. The band was given footage from the film and wrote the tune Battle Cry, which figures into several sequences of the film, and Imagine Dragons contributed other original music, working with the film’s composer Steve Jablonsky. The band has also been set to perform live at the movie’s World Premiere in Hong Kong on June 19. I noticed during the premiere of Amazing Spider-Man 2 that Sony made a big production out of getting an original song from Alicia Keys. Didn’t make much of a stir, but it seems like tent pole-makers are doing whatever they can to squeeze in the possibility of any Oscar love. It will be interesting to see if these bands will want to do the rubber chicken awards season tour. Earlier this year, Bono and The Edge were everywhere, stumping for the song U2 wrote and performed for Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom, only to lose to the animated film Frozen. If nothing else, Imagine Dragons fans should be happy with strong musical accompaniment as Bay blows shit up.
Here’s the first look at the Michael Bay-ified version of the iconic comic quartet. Looks like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been toughened up, a departure from the franchise’s more kid-friendly animated past more akin to the Turtles’ ’90s-era live-action iterations. Megan Fox and William Fichtner star in the origin story, which Jonathan Liebesman directs. Paramount releases the pic August 8, a busy date on the summer schedule with New Line/Village Roadshow’s Into The Storm (which also dropped its teaser today), Disney’s The Hundred-Foot Journey and Universal’s Scarlett Johansson-starrer Lucy also set to premiere that day.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Executive Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom download the highlights from this week’s massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
They look at Yahoo’s splashy preview of its new tech, news and food sites with a presentation that reminded David L. of a network advertising upfront; discuss highlights from David L.’s talk with TiVo CEO Tom Rogers on the current shortcomings and future opportunities in TV; grapple with the WWE’s move to online subscription video; and dial into T-Mobile’s highly entertaining and potentially transformative tactics that could re-arrange the mobile phone industry.
They also peer at the physical and likely fiscal limits of the latest savior for consumer electronics companies, the 4K Ultra HD TV; and prompt a review of Michael Bay’s rather sudden departure from the stage during a Samsung presentation.
Listen to the podcast in your preferred format here:
Deadline Big Media podcast 67 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 67 (.M4A version)
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UPDATE, 4:25 PM: Michael Bay has taken to his blog to talk about walking offstage during a Samsung presentation at the CES confab today in Las Vegas. “Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES – I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP’s intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down – then I walked off. I guess live shows aren’t my thing. But I’m doing a special curved screen experience with Samsung and Transformers 4 footage that will be traveling around the world,” he wrote.
PREVIOUS, 2:40 PM: An embarrassing moment for the Transformers director at Samsung’s packed-house presentation at the International CES confab. Brought on stage by EVP Joe Stinziano to discuss 4K TV, Michael Bay said that his job as a director is to create environments where viewers can escape reality. But after a few moments of pauses he said that the script on teleprompter was out of sync. Encouraged by Stinziano, he tried to wing it. But shortly after, Bay apologized and walked off the stage. “Welcome to Vegas, it’s live shows, folks,” the exec said as he continued the presentation.
The newly retitled pic follows a group of friends who stumble upon a time machine and have a little nutty fun with it –at first. But it turns out that their “second-chance machine” also had “some crazy ripple effect.” Welcome to Yesterday, from Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes, stars Sofia Black-D’Elia, Allen Evangelista, Ginny Gardner, Sam Lerner, Jonny Weston. Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller produced Paramount‘s sci fi film from writers Jason Harry Pagan & Andrew Deutschmann. Here’s the trailer:
As if last week’s wild assault on director Michael Bay wasn’t enough, now Hong Kong police are saying there’s been a second extortion attempt of the set of Transformers: Age Of Extinction. The government said in a release that a crew member was on a residential roof in To Kwa Wan when she was approached by four men who “intimidated her and asked for money”. Local authorities believe the extortion attempt was the work of a Chinese triad, and one man with suspected ties to organized crime has been arrested. He remained in custody while police hunt the other three suspects. Derek Yee Tung-sing, President of the Hong Kong Directors Guild, told the South China Morning Post that having two such incidents on a film set is “ridiculous” and “more unusual than getting a jackpot”. He said that the film “could have attracted the attention due to its big scale,” adding that he doesn’t believe it points to an increased trend of such crimes. Paramount’s high-profile sequel, starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer, is due for release June 27. Ideally.
Related: Michael Bay Gives Play By Play Of ‘Transformers 4′ Scrap
2ND UPDATE, 12:07 PM: Michael Bay has given his own version of events on Transformers 4, through his personal blog. Here goes:
Yes, the story is being passed around is not all true! Yes, some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours in the morning of our first shoot day in Hong Kong. One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks.
Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us. He didn’t like that answer. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z—he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped,
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Director Michael Bay suffered minor injuries to his face during an alleged shakedown attempt on the set of Transformers 4 on Hong Kong Island today, The South China Morning Post reports. Bay did not require treatment, but filming on the Paramount Pictures movie was briefly interrupted when a pair of men demanded HK$100,000 ($12,900) from the filmmakers. The incident took place at the Yick Fat Building (right) on Quarry Bay at about 8:30 AM local time when the men, who are brothers, arrived at the scene. One is believed to use a ground-floor shop on the site as an office and the pair claimed the shoot was interfering with business. They allegedly attempted to obstruct filming and demanded compensation for the disruption. A source on the scene told the SCMP that the younger man threatened “inconvenience” if the filmmakers refused to pay. That’s when the police were called. While officers were wrangling with the men, one is said to have bodychecked Bay, causing slight injury to his face. But Bay remained on set and continued filming.
Starz has dropped a new trailer for the Michael Bay-produced pirate adventure Black Sails. The high-seas drama produced a lot of buzz at Comic-Con, solidifying a decision by network brass to give it a second season renewal ahead of its January 2014 premiere. The story takes place 20 years before the events in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and chronicles the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, including young John Silver (Luke Arnold). Check it out:
The Autobots and Decepticons have landed in Detroit. The Michigan city is doubling for a bombed out Hong Kong in Michael Bay‘s Transformers 4. The pic, starring Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci, will be shooting in the city through the second week of August. It’s set to be released on June 27, 2014. Check out the two (explosive) videos below from the set:
Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay have added Asian superstar Han Geng to the cast of Transformers 4, joining Chinese actress Li Bingbing, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Sophia Myles, and TJ Miller in the big budget sequel. Geng, 29, is a singer, dancer, and actor who started his career as a member of the Korean pop group Super Junior. He’s also been dubbed China’s “King of Popularity,” which should help boost the region’s box office when Paramount releases the robo-fourquel next summer. Transformers 4 hits stateside on June 27, 2014.
Ahead of its upfront presentation next week, TNT has given a 10-episode series order to post-apocalyptic action drama The Last Ship, starring Eric Dane and executive produced by filmmaker Michael Bay. (Watch the first trailer below) The Last Ship is one of two pilots at TNT that have been awaiting a series order. A pickup for the other, Legends, is still pending. Based on William Brinkley’s popular novel, The Last Ship, which will premiere in 2014, comes from Bay’s Platinum Dunes. Bay and his partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form serve as executive producers, along with showrunner Hank Steinberg (Without A Trace) and Steven Kane (The Closer). Steinberg and Kane wrote the series pilot, which was directed by Jonathan Mostow. The story opens with a global catastrophe that nearly decimates the world’s population. Because of its positioning, the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James avoids falling victim to the devastating tragedy. But now the crew and its captain must confront the reality of their new existence in a world where they may be among the few remaining survivors. “The Last Ship has all the elements of a big Hollywood blockbuster, from its epic storytelling to its top-notch cast headed by the perfect leading man, Eric Dane,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright. “Michael Bay and his fellow executive producers … Read More »
Black Sails, Starz‘s upcoming pirate adventure series executive produced by Michael Bay, will debut next January. (It had been targeted for 2014.) NBC is yet to set a premiere date for its pirate series Crossbones starring John Malkovich. Starz also has released key art and two more teasers (watch one below) for the eight-episode drama, which takes place 20 years before the events in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and chronicles the tales of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and his men, including young John Silver (Luke Arnold). The first Black Sails trailer was released last month.
EXCLUSIVE: Forget the affable Frasier Crane; Kelsey Grammer is embracing his inner bad guy. After his Golden Globe turn as the ruthless politician in Boss, Grammer has just landed the key villain role in Michael Bay‘s next Transformers film, which also stars Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci. I’m told that Grammer will play Harold Attinger, a counter intelligence guy. Now, Grammer has been in big films before–he played The Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand–but he moved to UTA a couple of months ago, hoping to get more feature opportunities and the agency certainly came through. He’s also managed by Brian Sher. The film begins production in July, from a script by Ehren Kruger. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto and Don Murphy are the producers.