Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures jointly announced recently that Chinese entertainer Han Geng has been cast in Transformers 4. Among Asia's top stars, Han Geng has conquered the world of music, television and feature film to become one of the most influential entertainers in China.
He joins Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Sophia Myles, TJ Miller and Chinese actress Li Bingbing in the fourth instalment of the hit series based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 27 next year.
"Han Geng has been a sensation in China and we are happy to have him in our movie," said Michael Bay in a Press release issued by Paramount Pictures.
Making his debut in 2005 as a member of the hugely popular group Super Junior, Han Geng later turned to a solo career, releasing his first album Geng Xin in 2010, which went on to sell over a million copies. His most recent album Hope In The Darkness was released in 2012 and has earned Han Geng a number of hit singles.
Han Geng has appeared on the big and small screen, with roles that have shown his range as an actor. In 2008, Han Geng appeared on China Central Television's Stage Of Youth, a 12-episode drama that drew incredible ratings.
Among his big screen roles, he had a cameo appearance in the 2010 feature film The Founding Party, along with other A-list Chinese celebrities and, later that year, had his first starring role on the silver screen in the action movie My Kingdom. The multi-hyphen entertainer has subsequently starred in the films Beginning Of The Great Revival, and The First President. His most recent starring role was in So Young, a major box office hit in China, having earned more the US$115 million (RM366 million) since its release this May.
Han Geng has extraordinary popularity on the internet in China. When his albums or films are released, his name and movies typically top the charts as the "most searched" and accumulate the most hits. Transformers 4 marks Han Geng's debut in an English language production.
Paramount, China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises announced this April an agreement on the production of Transformers 4 in China, which stated that China Movie Channel, under the State Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRT), will cooperate with Paramount in the production of the film in China.
Transformers 4 is expected to be released in China on or about June 27 next year. The parties are working in cooperation on a number of other areas related to Transformers 4, including the selection of filming sites within China, and theatrical promotion.
Shooting in multiple locations in the US and China throughout the summer, the film is directed by Bay and re-unites the filmmaking team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce, and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Transformers 4 is written by Ehren Kruger.
The third, and most recent instalment of the franchise, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the fifth highest global grossing film of all time, raking in US$1.124 billion (RM3.58 billion). The Transformers movies are among the most popular films ever released in China, and Bay is among the most popular directors with Chinese audiences.
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, released in 2011, grossed US$165 million (RM525.62 million) in China.