Mark Wahlberg to Star in 'Transformers 4'

Mark Wahlberg
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After nixing "rumors" on his site, director Michael Bay posts word late Thursday: "An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise."

Michael Bay is reuniting with his Pain & Gain star Mark Wahlberg for Paramount’s Transformers 4.

Word had been circulating for a couple of weeks, and the director announced the casting on his website,

Shia LaBeouf starred in the first three installments of the $2.6 billion franchise, but Bay is aiming to reboot the series, thus the need for a new (human) star.

“Mark is awesome," the filmmaker wrote. "We had a blast working on Pain & 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."

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The move comes after a Bay posted twice in October and seemingly nixed reports of Wahlberg’s involvement.

On Oct. 31, however, he seemed to relent, writing: “We are working on another movie together, not T4. I had such a great time working with Mark on Pain & 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."

Transformers 4 will be produced by Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. Executive producing are Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian.

Pain & Gain, which also stars Dwayne Johnson,  is Bay’s first non-Transformers movie since 2005’s The Island. It opens April 26.