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“Transformers 4″ plot details revealed by Michael Bay

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Now that “Transformers 4″ (sadly not officially titled “Trans4mers”) has its leading man in the form of Mark Wahlberg, we finally can learn some plot details from the new movie.

TMZ caught up with director Michael Bay, who’s been very forthcoming in recent weeks, and asked him for the scoop on how the new “Transformers” movie is going to fit into the rest of the film franchise. We’ve long known it’s going to be a departure from the previous trilogy, but Bay said “Transformers 4″ won’t stray too far from its origins.

“The movie is going to continue four years from the attack on Chicago which was in the last movie,” he said. “It’s going to have the same lineage, but it’s going in a full new direction. It actually feels very natural how it’s going in that direction… We’re doing a lot of things that are really going to make it fresh and feel new.”

Some other ways the film will feel “fresh” and “new” are through its reported female lead and “new cast” of Autobots and Decepticons. It doesn’t seem likely that any of the original cast members will be returning for the new movie (though Hugo Weaving and the other voice actors might be dragged back), but Bay likely will find a way to tie “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” to “Transformers 4.”

“Transformers 4″ is set to hit theaters on June 29, 2014. It will reportedly take place in the future and head to space.

Are you intrigued by “Transformers 4″? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Mark Wahlberg cast by Michael Bay in “Transformers 4″

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“After an exceptionally successful collaboration on the upcoming ‘Pain and Gain,’ Michael Bay has cast Academy Award-nominee Mark Wahlberg in the highly anticipated ‘Transformers 4.’

The above statement is the opening line of a press release Paramount Pictures sent out confirming that the Internet has won. After a report had come out last month claiming Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg were working together on a project that likely was “Transformers 4,” the Internet finally became excited about the new “Transformers” movie. But Bay quickly squashed that hope in a statement on his website where he said he and Wahlberg were working on a project together after “Pain and Gain” that wasn’t “Transformers 4.”

Well, that didn’t last long. Over the course of one week, Bay changed his mind and posted another statement claiming the excitement over Wahlberg’s admittedly false casting had the two men reconsidering their stance.

“I squashed a rumor that was on the internet last week. It was about Mark Walhberg. Mark was rumored to be staring in ‘Transformers 4.’ We are working on another movie together, not ‘T4,'” Bay wrote. “I had such a great time working with Mark on “Pain and Gain,” and he gave such a great performance – well let’s say that very internet chatter gave me some ideas. We are at the inception of our story process right now on ‘T4.’ Let’s say some ideas are gaining traction with me and my writer – so I’m here to say thanks internet chatter.”

That was a week ago. Now Wahlberg is confirmed as an actor in the movie. So, yes, thank you Internet chatter.

“Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on ‘Pain and Gain’ and I’m so fired up to be back working with him. An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy,” Bay said in the release.

“Transformers 4″ is set to hit theaters on June 29, 2014. It will reportedly take place in the future and head to space. We’ll keep you posted on all the new details as they come out.

Do you think Wahlberg is a good fit for “Transformers 4″? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Transformers 4″ could have a female lead

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Here’s an interesting twist involving the upcoming fourth “Transformers” movie. According to new sources, the film might feature a female protagonist.

The news comes via Spoiler TV, so it is far from official. But the site reports that “Transformers 4″ will have two leads: a teenage woman and a man.

“The new female lead that they are looking for is a high school senior and her boyfriend a Texas racing driver,” the site writes.

That’s something of a chance of pace from the first three “Transformers” films, but we should remember that Sam Witwicky was a teenager when we first met him. He went off to college in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” but he still was in high school in the first film.

Those aren’t the only new characters who will be in the flick. We learned back in September that there is going to be a new line-up of Autobots and Decepticons in this new film. It’s unclear if those will be newly created or just characters that weren’t in Michael Bay’s first three “Transformers” films.

“Transformers 4″ is set to hit theaters on June 29, 2014. It will reportedly take place in the future and head to space. We’ll keep you posted on all the new details as they come out.

Do you think having a female lead is a good change of pace for “Transformers 4″? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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