With X-Men: Days of Future Past and Fast & Furious 7 making news on a weekly basis with new pictures and plot scoops, it’s easy to forget about the other big-name sequels that will be vying for box-office supremacy next summer. Surprisingly little information has emerged thus far about Transformers: Age of Extinction, Michael Bay’s fourth entry in the hugely successful science-fiction action franchise. Today, Empire Magazine unveiled the cover for its upcoming January issue, which provides us with our most substantial sneak peek into the blockbuster yet.
The cover highlights a significantly reworked version of Autobot chief Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), as well as a fresh human cast. Check it out below:
The fresh take on Prime reminds us of Age of Extinction‘s commitment to moving the Transformers franchise forward without Shia LaBeouf, who starred in the first Transformers and sequels Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon. The bot looks much more faded than in previous installments, but he also looks considerably leaner and meaner. In Dark of the Moon, Prime battled with two high-tech swords that extended from his arms, and it appears that Bay has held on to that addition, though this model seems to be gripping the sword instead of wielding it as an extension of his body.
The cover also showcases Age of Extinction‘s photogenic cast, including Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor and Nicola Peltz. All three are modeling their best action-star looks for the cover, though Wahlberg and Reynor both look noticeably more rugged than LaBeouf ever did in previous installments.
We don’t know very much about the plot details of Age of Extinction yet, but the film is set four years after the destructive Battle of Chicago in Dark of the Moon. Wahlberg will play car mechanic and inventor Cade, who makes a startling discovery along with his teenaged daughter Tessa (Peltz). As all manner of Autobots, Decepticons and government agents descend on them, the pair team up with Tessa’s race car driver boyfriend Shane (Reynor) to ensure that their find doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T.J. Miller and Titus Welliver will co-star.
Of course, the rumor mill is already in full swing regarding the film’s plot. The fan-favorite Dinobots are confirmed to make an appearance, which lends credence to the theory that Cade’s discovery involves engineering new kinds of Transformers. Bay has also mentioned that he plans to depart the series in the near future, which suggests that Age of Extinction will be doing a lot of table-setting for future installments.
What do you think of Optimus Prime’s facelift? Do you want to see Bay bring old characters like the Dinobots in attempt to move the series past its plot-light origins, or should he just stick to his guns? Let us know in the comment section!
Transformers: Age of Extinction will arrive in IMAX 3D on June 27th, 2014.