Li Bingbing will have an acting role in Transformers 4 according to a statement released by director Michael Bay:
“I am excited to have Li Bingbing join our cast and to be shooting portions of the movie in her native China. I have always aspired to work with the best actors and this cast is especially exciting now with the addition of Li.”
“I am thrilled to get to work with Michael Bay. ‘Transformers’ has influenced generations in China and the movie franchise has a massive fan base. I am very happy to be able to join this international production. Thank you Paramount for the invitation! Looking forward to it!”
Li’s role is yet unknown, but is speculated to be action-orientated given her roles most familiar to Western audiences (Resident Evil: Retribution, The Forbidden Kingdom). Her character may also be bilingual, giving Li Bingbing a chance to speak her native Mandarin alongside her practicing English. In Li’s previous Hollywood film, Resident Evil, her lines were dubbed over by the original, American Ada Wong voice actress, Sally Cahill.
The upcoming movie, which apparently will also be shot partly in China, is a co-production between Paramount Pictures, China Movie Channel, and online movie streaming company Jiaflix. Transformers 4 is the latest in a stream of Hollywood action blockbusters to incorporate Chinese themes in courting the country’s rapidly growing market, where box office receipts increased by 36% in 2012. The previous film in the series, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon grossed over $165 million in China in its 2011 release and featured on-screen product placement of Chinese brands—a first for a major Hollywood production.
Transformers 4 has a scheduled release of 27 June next year.