The cars that turn into warrior robots are returning to the place where robots help make cars. The Michigan Film & Digital Media Office said today that Michael Bay’s Transformers 5 will film in Detroit this summer, returning to the city where three previous installments of the series also shot.
A source told Deadline that the studio had some other projects approved already by the state and took the incentive funds from those projects and re-assigned them to the fifth installment of the multibillion-dollar franchise; those are believed to have included Looking for Alaska, based on the best-selling YA novel by John Green, as well as Beverly Hills Cop IV, which was approved by the state before all progress suddenly stopped. The state allocated funds for filming, even though the program as a whole has been officially discontinued. Deadline also was told that the approvals were contractual agreements by the state and the studio, which Michigan still would honor if the studio did the filming.
Those film projects were all agreed to before the Michigan legislators ended their incentive program last summer.
Michigan film officials said the restructuring on Transformers 5 will end up saving the Great Lakes State $21M and will speed production of the sequel, which anticipates an in-state spend of $80M and projects making 850 cast and crew hires — 450 of which will be Michigan residents equating to 228 full-time positions. The production also expects to hire 700 extras. The last three installments of Transformers all shot in Detroit and director Bay has said that the city’s backdrop is essential to the feel of the futuristic films.
“Michigan has been so welcoming of Michael Bay and the Transformers movies over the years, and we are thrilled to be returning for this next incredible installment,” said Lee Rosenthal, president of Physical Production at Paramount Pictures. Added Jenell Leonard, commissioner of the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, “Having one of the highest-profile film franchises created in Michigan is a major economic boost and a testament to the talent of the state’s production community.
No firm start date — or title — for Transformers 5 has been announced, but it is expected to start this summer. Paramount said two weeks ago that the penta-sequel will crash into megaplexes on June 23. 2017.