If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Some rumors refuse to die. Last month it was reported that Mark Wahlberg would appear in 'Transformers 4,' generating a bit of buzz from the blogosphere. Michael Bay and Wahlberg were working together on 'Pain & Gain,' costarring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson so the rumor did not seem all that far-fetched. However, Bay himself quickly dispelled the rumor on his personal website, noting that while he and Wahlberg were working on something together in the immediate future, it was not the fourth installment of the 'Transformers' franchise. However, there is evidence that Bay may have actually been swayed by the online fervor to see Wahlberg in the next sequel. Here's what he had to say today...
"I squashed a rumor that was on the internet last week. It was about Mark Walhberg. Mark was rumored to be staring in Transformers 4. We are working on another movie together, not T4. I had such a great time working with Mark on Pain and Gain, and he gave such a great performance – well let’s say that very internet chatter gave me some ideas. We are at the inception of our story process right now on T4. Let’s say some ideas are gaining traction with me and my writer – so I’m here to say thanks internet chatter."
This is an interesting development, and not because I have any desire to see another 'Transformers.' In an age where we get most of our movie news secondhand, and the secretive supposed sources are so often incorrect, there are a select few filmmakers and actors who have taken to revealing details of their upcoming projects to the fans directly through blogs or social media. I've lost count in the last few months of the number of times Twitter has served as the most reliable source of movie news. And now we have a director who is actually responding to online fan sentiment and, apparently, changing his entire casting strategy to appease the internet? Even if you don't care one ounce about Bay or 'Transformers 4,' it's an intriguing precedent. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating the idea of filmmakers being entirely beholden to fanboys, but the concept of an open dialogue between directors and fans, at least as a barometer as to how their various decisions are being received, is something to ponder.
What do you guys think? Do you think Wahlberg will actually appear in 'Transformers 4?' Is there something to be said for director's engaging in open dialogue with fans and even allowing those dialogues to influence their process?