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Image Credit: Hubert Boesl/DPA/Landov; DreamWorks/Paramount; GL/PR PhotosHigh-brow Oscar darlings John Malkovich and Frances McDormand have signed on to star in the next installment of Michael Bay’s Autobots vs. Decepticons saga, Transformers 3. You read that right. The very respectable thespian pair behind some of cinema’s most nerve-rattling psychos and Coen brothers heroines will spend the summer standing in front of a green screen doing their serious-actorly best to appear terrified by gigantic robots. Needless to say, that’s quite a 180 from Megan Fox.

Yesterday, Bay announced on his web site that Malkovich and McDormand (plus The Hangover‘s antic Ken Jeong) would come for an E-ticket ride on his big-budget tentpole, which starts pre-shooting next month. And if it seems a bit strange that this pair, which has six Academy Award nominations between them, would sign up for a sequel to a sequel adapted from a line of toys, then maybe you haven’t been paying attention to the way the wind has been blowing in Hollywood lately. After all, Malkovich and McDormand aren’t the first respectable actors who’ve signed on for event films. Just think of all the classically trained British knights and dames in the Harry Potter flicks, or Liam Neeson joining the cast of The A-Team, or Penelope Cruz setting sail for Pirates of the Caribbean 4, or…well, you get the idea.

On one hand, it would be churlish to knock a serious actor because they want to have some fun in a movie that millions of people actually go to see (and get paid handsomely for the effort, no doubt). But you also can’t help but snicker a little bit at the thought of a guy like Malkovich trying to pronounce the name ‘Sam Witwicky’ without it sounding skin-crawlingly eerie. I’m not sure if this makes me more or less excited to see Transformers 3. But maybe that’s just because I’m waiting for Al Pacino or Robert De Niro to sign on for the splashy new 3-D Popeye film.

What do you think about this unlikely casting?


  • Movie
  • 143 minutes
  • Michael Bay