Ryan Lakich wrote a piece recently at Culturemap Houston that provided a tantalizing glimpse of the next film in Michael Bay's Transformers saga. The new Transformers movie will be filmed, at least in part, in Austin and casting calls have gone out for extras and bit parts. According to the article, one casting call stated that they were seeking:
Ranchers, oil men and women, realtor types that sell Dallas mansions, small town salt of the earth types, and strong southern-looking men & women- with faces that have a real local Texas flavor to their look and uniqueness!
One casting call on Facebook for the film also details what they are looking for:
Seeking submissions from FEMALE CAUCASIAN EXTRAS between the ages of 16-23 fit, tan, attractive with an "all-american" Texas type look to work as a featured Extra on the Transformers sequel directed by Michael Bay shooting in the Austin, TX area between June 3-20, 2013.
In other words, Transformers IV may be like Dallas with Decepticons. Kick ay-uss!
In many circumstances, Texans wince a little bit when Hollywood directors overdo the Texas stereotypes in setting and casting for movies and TV shows. While such stereotypes, like many stereotypes, do have some basis in fact, they have been overdone over the years and most people in Texas wouldn't fit the bill for the casting calls described above. Michael Bay, however, is not someone who is known for his subtlety and let's be honest, do you want a Transformers movie to be a sensitive exploration of the cosmopolitan and urbanized society that Texas has become? I sure as hell don't.
In fact, the idea of gigantic extraterrestrial robots doing battle in the Hill Country of Texas with big-haired Texas blondes gazing in wide wonder at the spectacle before them sounds quite intriguing to me. And I haven't even seen any of the other Transformers movies in their entirety.
Admittedly, this film is unlikely to rival Giant or even Slacker in terms of creating a memorable image for at least one aspect of the vast state that gave the world Molly Ivins, Beyoncé Knowles and Rick Perry. But it should provide a couple of good hours of entertainment with a little Texas flavor in the mix. Plus, it looks like Shia LaBeouf will not be in the film, which is something we all can be thankful for.
I look forward to seeing what Transformers IV will provide in its depiction of Texas. This will not be a low-budget film, so if nothing else the visuals will be pretty epic. I'll buy some popcorn for this one.