Monday, June 25, 2007


FANS SINCE CHILDHOOD: Tyrese Gibson and Anthony Anderson excited to co-star in transformers

In Transformers Tyrese Gibson stars as Sergeant Epps, who discovers that he is one of the first present-day humans to come up against robotic powerful aliens, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. The earth is caught in the middle of an intergalactic war between the two races of alien robots. Anthony Anderson portrays Glen, a hacker who strategizes with the military group to come up with a plan of attack to save the world from the battling Transformers. Also starring as part of the battling military team are Josh Duhamel, Rachael Taylor, Michael O’Neill, John Turturro and Jon Voight.
Paramount Pictures will release Transformers nationwide on Tuesday, July 3th.

Army Captain Lennox (Duhamel) is in charge of a small brigade of Special Forces Rangers, who find themselves the sole survivors of a bizarre attack on their base in Qatar . When Lennox’s squad is surreptitiously transferred back to the U.S. , they know they have seen and experienced something earth shattering, literally. They are part of a select group that includes the United States Secretary of Defense (Voight), members of a top secret military unit called Sector 7 (Turturro and O’Neill), along with a beautiful computer analyst (Taylor) and her associate, a smart but uptight hacker (Anderson).

Half way around the world an average teenager, Sam (Shia LaBeouf) ask his father to match funds toward his first car, Sam’s excitement quickly turns to disappointment with the purchase of a beat-up 1973 Chevy Camaro from a shady used car salesman, played by funnyman Bernie Mac. Sam awakens one morning by a distinctive roar and screeching tires. He thinks someone has stolen his car, but the car appears to have a mind of its’ own. In a valiant effort to pursue the thief, he chases the Camaro only to find himself overpowered by a police cruiser that shockingly transforms into a menacing 20-foot robot. In the days ahead, he and his girlfriend (Megan Fox) are befriended by the robots and they learn that the aliens that have come to Earth in a desperate search for their life-source, the Allspark. As the forces of evil seek the key to ultimate power, mankind’s last chance for survival rests in the hands of young Sam.

Like every other boy his age, Gibson was a fan of Transformers action figures and a huge devotee of the television series. “I used to watch the cartoon every day when I got home from school,” he says. “Who would have thought a cartoon you loved as a kid would end up being such a milestone in your life as a grown man? It’s crazy how things happen.”

When Anderson was asked if he was familiar with Transformers action figures, he immediately broke into song, “Transformers, more than meets the eye, Transformers, robots in disguise!”
Anderson says proudly, “I can sing more of the song. I actually owned Optimus Prime and Megatron when I was growing up. I liked Optimus Prime the best. I played with that guy until he fell apart.

“That’s my era, I grew up watching the cartoon. When I heard there was a possibility of playing a character in the film, I was excited it, as well as meeting Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg.”
Gibson plays a Combat Controller, one of the most highly trained personnel in the Air Force. As a member of a Special Tactics Team that includes Captain Lennox and other several elite Army Rangers, he is responsible for leading those men into uncharted hostile territory, for reconnaissance, for establishing attack zones, and to call in fire power should the need arise, along with a host of other duties to numerous to list. But most important, he and his fellow soldiers are the first line of defense when it comes to defending his country, her people and her allies.

To prepare for the role, Gibson spent time with an actual Combat Controller who was on leave after a tour in Iraq . In the Air Force for over 20 years, Captain Ray Bollinger is a respected an expert in his field and gave Gibson much of his technical dialogue for the desert sequences shot at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico .

“I communicate with all aircraft,” says Gibson who can still recite his team’s site coordinates in his sleep, “The Blackhawks, stealth bombers, F22’s, they’re all on my wire. And it was a matter of running my lines with Ray because he knows the way it’s supposed to sound; he knows the speed of it, the cadence. The English can sound like Chinese when you’re speaking so fast, but once I became more comfortable in my character and understood what I was saying, it helped. I couldn’t have rehearsed my lines with anyone but Ray.”

For Gibson, putting on the military garb helped him get into character. “Carrying the gun, wearing the heavy packs with all the equipment, the ammunition, you can barely breathe, but when I put it on, I become a chameleon, I am the character.”

Anderson describes his character as a “computer genius-geek-nerd who is accidentally pulled into the government’s search for whatever is devouring all their secret system files and documents. My partner in crime, Maggie Madsen, brings in Glen to help her decipher an electronic computer language that the Decepticons are speaking; she needs help, so she comes to the smart guy,” he says coyly.

“Glen’s nervous at first,” explains Anderson , “because he’s got a little addiction problem with hacking into highly classified systems like the Pentagon’s, which he’s done more than a few times. He can’t help himself, he’s drawn to it; he loves the excitement. He’s just never been caught before. But this time, he really doesn’t want to be in the mix with angry alien robots.”
Despite his initial reluctance Glen cannot help but be spellbound as he begins tapping into the alien’s communications, breaking their code. “Glen knows their innermost secrets,” the actor says, “but it’s frightening and disturbing. I mean, it’s Defcon 38. Talk about heightened security levels; we’re at fuchsia, man, “I like the bad guys now,” he says.

DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures present, in association with Hasbro, a di Bonaventura Pictures Production, a Tom DeSanto/Don Murphy Production of a Michael Bay Film, Transformers, directed by Michael Bay from a story by John Rogers and Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman and a screenplay by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, the film is based on Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERSTM Action Figures.

The producers are Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce and the executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay , Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. The director of photography is Mitchell Amundsen. The production designer is Jeff Mann. The film is edited by Paul Rubell, A.C.E. and Glen Scantlebury. The costume designer is Deborah L. Scott. The music is by Steve Jablonsky. The music is Dave Jordan. The special visual effects are by Industrial Light & Magic.

Information provided by
UPDATE: The shape-shifting robots of “Transformers” have taken on a new form: Huge piles of cash. The sci-fi saga “Transformers,” DreamWorks and Paramount’s big-screen take on the Hasbro toys, debuted with $67.6 million in ticket sales in its first weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That gave it $152.5 million since opening with preview screenings Monday night.

If the weekend figures hold when final numbers are released Monday, that would give “Transformers” the biggest first week revenues ever for a non-sequel, surpassing the $151.6 million of 2002’s “Spider-Man.” But factoring in today’s higher ticket prices, “Spider-Man” drew more people in its first week, about 26.1 million, compared to 22.5 million for “Transformers.”

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