LeBeouf, Fox role play for 'Transformers'

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Activision has signed Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox to provide their likenesses and voices for "Transformers: The Game," which ships for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and PC on June 19.

"Having a sound-alike or generic look-alike for (LaBeouf's character) Sam would not have had the same impact or given the player the same level of impressiveness as getting the real thing. The same holds true for Megan Fox's character, Mikaela Baines," said Activision's Daniel Suarez, the game's executive producer. "All of these elements help weave the illusion that the game is really an extension of the film and intellectual property, and having them all synched to one another only benefits the end user."

"Transformers," the DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures live-action movie adapted from the Hasbro toys, opens wide on the Fourth of July.

Suarez said director Michael Bay and his creative team, headed by production designer Jeff Mann ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith"), gave Activision an extensive all-access pass to the conceptual material as it was being developed. The gamemakers were able to see early glimpses of all the film's CG animatics to get a sense of scale and movement for the characters as well as how the action sequences would play out before any frame of film was even shot.

"Having this type of access was vital to be able to capture the transformations from robot to vehicle and ensure that it was in sync with the movie," Suarez said. "Additionally, with the help of Ian Bryce and Mark Vahradian, producers on the film, we were able to secure the actual ILM models."

LaBeouf said that even after the experience of making the movie, he found seeing himself in his first video game one of the highlights of his career.

"From the moment I first saw Activision was on set to create video games based on the film, I wanted to be part of this project," said LaBeouf, who grew up a big fan of "Transformers" and also is a huge gamer. "I've played the game, and it's awesome. Fans will be able to choose a side -- the Decepticons or the Autobots -- and explore, and destroy, the world from the movie."

He also got a kick out of meeting the original actors from the animated "Transformers" TV show. Activision hired Peter Cullen and Frank Welker to bring the video game Optimus Prime and Megatron to life in the game, as well. Actors Keith David and Mark Ryan brought Transformers Barricade and Iron Hide to life in the game.

Activision also enlisted original "Transformers" TV writer Flint Dille to write the game's script, which delves beyond the action in the film. Game developers Traveler's Tales and Vicarious Visions created the "Transformers" games.

"The film focuses on three separate human story lines that intersect one another, while the game focuses less on the human perspective and more on the story of the Transformers coming to Earth and their search for the All Spark," Suarez said. "Each faction (Autobots and Decepticons) has its own group of playable characters and gives the player the ability to play with over nine different Transformers characters."

Activision worked with the film producers and Hasbro to create an original set of soldier Transformer characters called drones that appear exclusively in the game. Suarez said the game offers multiple endings because gamers can choose a side and play through the action with different results.

Also merging the world of the film and game was Hollywood composer Steve Jablonsky ("The Hitcher"), who recorded more than 90 minutes of original music for the game after creating the score for the movie.
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