Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise already borders on ridiculous, but now it seems like they’re not even trying. Apparently the studio plans to round out the rest of Transformers 4's Chinese cast members by using a reality TV show. Seriously.
Reality TV is apparently quite popular in China, so to generate some buzz for the sequel, Paramount has announced it will host a reality competition to determine some of the Chinese cast members. The film is a Chinese co-production, an approach many studios are taking to have big-budget tentpoles appeal to the extremely lucrative international market.
Dubbed Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Talent Search (catchy, right?), the show will be a talent competition with four winners. Two will be actors, while the other two will be amateurs, and all four will join “a number of talented Chinese actors and actresses” in the film.
The judges' table will feature some Hollywood and Chinese media heavyweights, including former Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences head Sid Ganis, Paramount’s marketing and distribution chief Megan Colligan, the film’s producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura, casting director Denise Chamian, China Movie Channel deputy director Jia Qi and Chinese network rep Liang Longfei.
Obviously this is absolutely insane, and a pretty slippery slope when it comes to creative control. Sure, it’s a cheap and easy way to generate buzz, but it could also pigeonhole a filmmaker into using an actor (or in this case four actors) who might not be a good fit for the characters or movie as a whole.
What do you think of this marketing plan?
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)