Entertainment & Arts

Mark Wahlberg to star in Transformers 4

Mark Wahlberg
Image caption Wahlberg, 41, is 15 years older than former Transformers star Shia LaBeouf

Actor Mark Wahlberg will replace Shia LaBeouf as the star of the fourth film in the Transformers robot franchise.

Director Michael Bay said "an actor of his calibre is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers' legacy".

The pair have already worked together on forthcoming film Pain and Gain.

Transformers 4 is scheduled to be released by Paramount Pictures on 27 June, 2014.

Bay revealed the news in a post on his blog, after previously denying rumours that 41-year-old Wahlberg would star in the film.

He said: "Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on Pain and Gain and I'm so fired up to be back working with him."

The first three movies, also directed by Bay, starred LaBeouf and featured Peter Cullen as the voice of Autobot general Optimus Prime.

Bay has previously said the next film will take a new direction, and he has been working on "a whole new re-imagining of Transformers" with the help of producer Steven Spielberg.

The third Transformers film, Dark of the Moon, was the second highest-grossing film of 2011.

Together the three movies have earned more than $2.6bn (£1.6bn) worldwide.

Transformers 4 will begin shooting next spring, while Pain and Gain is due in cinemas next April.

Wahlberg topped both the UK and US box office this summer in Ted, Seth MacFarlane's adult comedy about a toy bear who comes to life.

Universal Pictures has said a Ted sequel is now in the works.

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