China's Li Bingbing Boards 'Transformers 4'

Female Star of the Year: Li Bingbing
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Actress ("Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," "Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame")

Paramount Pictures and its two co-producers unveiled their first official Chinese recruit for the fourth installment of the franchise.

HONG KONG – Producers for the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise have unveiled the first of what was promised to be a slate of Chinese stars to be featured in the film.

A report on -- a Chinese film-related portal operated by the state-owned China Movie Channel, one of the film's three co-producers -- quoted a statement from Paramount Pictures, Sid Ganis’ Jiaflix Enterprises and China Movie Channel as saying that Resident Evil: Retribution star Li Bingbing will board the production. She will soon be joined by other well-known actors as well as newcomers recruited from a talent-scouting competition.

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With production slated to begin later in the year, the latest entry to Michael Bay’s blockbuster franchise is set for release on June 27, 2014.

With the involvement of financiers and actors from China as well as promises of having parts of the film set and shot in the country, the film is designed to qualify as a Sino-U.S. co-production – which allows the movie to circumvent the Chinese import quota and also take a bigger proportion of box office earnings in what is now the second-biggest source of box office revenue in the world.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon brought in $177.3 million in tickets sales in China when released in 2010,and currently stands as the second-highest-grossing foreign film to be screened in China – with Avatar ranking first – and fourth highest-grossing overall.