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Little known Irish actor Jack Reynor has been cast to star opposite Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4, director Michael Bay has confirmed. The 20-year-old caught Bay’s eye while playing the lead role in soon-to-be-released Irish film What Richard Did.

Bay released a statement on his website confirming his selection of Reynor:

“I just hired a great new actor for Transformers 4 to star against Mark Wahlberg. Jack Reynor, he is an Irish kid that came to America with 30 bucks in his pocket. Pretty ballsy. Seriously who does that? Anyway I spotted him in a great little Irish movie WHAT RICHARD DID. This kid is the real deal.”

Reynor seems to have shot almost out of nowhere to snag this juicy role. Aside from What Richard Did, in which he plays a troubled teenager, Reynor has also appeared in the 2012 drama Dollhouse directed by Kirsten Sheridan, and in Eoin Macken’s Cold, which is currently in post-production (if you’re a Merlin fan, you’ll know Macken better as Sir Gwaine). Now, Reynor will be attempting to step smoothly into the rather larger shoes of previous franchise star Shia LeBeouf.

In his statement about the casting of Reynor, Bay also took the opportunity to put all rumours of a reboot or remake to rest:

Transformers 4 is not a reboot,” he writes. “That word has been floating around on the net. This movie takes place exactly 4 years after the war in Chicago (in Transformers 3). The story makes a very natural transition, and reason as to why we have a whole new cast. This Transformers will feel very different than the last three. We are embarking on a new trilogy.”

A whole new trilogy sounds a lot more promising than a reboot or remake, it has to be said, and the ‘very different’ feel promised by Bay is certainly intriguing. Before now, the director has been accused (not unduly) of churning out chunk after chunk of super awful high octane explosion porn.  Then again, he did give us The Rock, an amazing slice of so-bad-it’s-goodness that pairs Sean Connery with Nicholas Cage in saving San Francisco from poisonous bottle rockets, so we have to cut him some slack. Even so, it’ll be interesting to see what new and perhaps better direction Bay, and stars Reynor and Wahlberg, take the Transformers franchise in.

 

Sources: BBC, SlashFilm

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