Malkovich, McDormand Promise to at Least Improve ‘Transformers’ Franchise’s Acting Level

A paycheck is a difficult thing to pass up, especially these days. So, in that spirit, it’s tough to knock such fine actors as John Malkovich and Frances McDormand for joining the cast of Transformers 3, as reported today by Deadline’s tireless Mike Fleming. The inevitable sequel in the alien robot franchise will again be directed by Michael Bay and star Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. Also added to the cast is funnymany Ken Jeong (The Hangover, NBC’s Community).

Malkovich will play the new boss of perennial hero Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf), while McDormand is in for a major part, the National Intelligence Director. There’s no word on the exact plot yet, though Bay has revealed that he and his Paramount backers are testing 3D technology for certain scenes, after condemning the technology pre-Avatar. Of course, James Cameron’s behemoth film came and destroyed all of its competition, and Bay has always been focused primarly on what’ll rake in the big bucks, so, naturally, he budged.

Here’s to the hopes that neither Malkovich nor McDormand will suffer from any post-brainless-moviemaking stress disorders once Transformers 3 is completed. I’m sure both will be fine; they’re too damn talented to let this one bring them down while elevating their bank account figures a good deal. Malkovich has shown a keen interest in blockbuster fare as of late; he’ll portray the villain in this summer’s graphic novel-adapting western Jonah Hex (which also co-stars Fox…. maybe a second collaboration with the pinup is what really attracted Malkovich to Bay’s world, eh?), and he was also said to be in contention for a bad-guy role in the now-scrapped Spiderman 4.

As for LaBeouf, it’s not unfair to think that he’s back in this saddle less-than-artistic purposes. In the current April 2010 issue of GQ, cover subject LaBeouf says, “Transformers is my last corporate obligation,” before addressing his post-Transformers (whenever the franchise does end) agenda: “I’m not going to work for money, because I’m rich, so there’s no point. Now I just get to have fun. I get to make movies that I’m really hungry to make.” And there you have it.

Pre-shoots for Transformers 3 begin next month.

Source: Deadline