Okay, so to say that Kelsey Grammer is going to be replacing a tiny, blonde model in a movie franchise is kind of a ridiculous lie. But, with the news Deadline just broke that he’s going to be joining the cast of Transformers 4 as its main non-robot villain, the rumors that director Michael Bay is going to be changing up the strategy he used while making the first three films in order to give us something different appear to be true. Gone is the strategy where Shia LaBeouf and some hot, young actress make goo-goo eyes at each other while incoherent robot action swirls around them, and in its place is a plan where more established actors like Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and now Grammer are being looked at to shoulder the weight of the non-robot segments of the film.
Of course, Bay likely hasn’t abandoned his sensibilities completely. This fourth Transformers movie is still going to reportedly feature some young romance involving characters played by Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor, and chances are all of the robot action is going to be as swirling and incomprehensible as ever, but you can’t help but think that a scenario where a hero played by Mark Wahlberg and a villain played by Kelsey Grammer face off against each other has more potential to support an actually interesting story than anything we’ve gotten from a Transformers movie so far. And even the young actress playing the Wahlberg character’s daughter, Peltz, appears to be a refreshing change from what Bay has given us in the past. Sure, she’s a lovely young girl, but she seems like the kind of actress who was probably cast in order to play a person, and isn’t just standing in as a curvy image for Bay’s constantly moving camera to linger over.
All indications point to the fact that any potential Transformers 5 would hand the series off to the young actors and go back to a teen-centric focus—likely in regards to both content and marketing—but, before we lament that inevitable fate, let us take a moment to sit back and enjoy the possibility that we might next be getting at least one Transformers movie that has a chance to not suck. A Transformers movie that might afford us the opportunity to hear Kelsey Grammer and Peter Cullen’s Optimus Prime voice trade stern dialogue. Oh my, that would be so very distinguished.