Transformers 4 Takes Shape With Help From China

Optimus Prime from 'Transformers: The Ride 3-D' Optimus Prime from 'Transformers: The Ride 3-D'

Michael Bay’s “Transformers” robots are shaping up again with an assist from China.

Paramount Pictures announced a deal Tuesday with China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises to help on the production of “Transformers 4,” the next installment in the director’s blockbuster franchise.

According to the agreement, China Movie Channel, which is overseen by the Chinese government, will help select filming sites in China, and with theatrical promotion and possibly post-production work there.

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It also will work with the filmmakers on casting Chinese actors in the movie, which stars Mark Wahlberg and is due out in June 2014.

Jiaflix, headed by former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis, brokered the deal. The company exports Chinese films to overseas markets and promotes production and distribution of films in China.

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Bay’s 2011 smash “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” took in $1.1 billion worldwide, including $165 million in China.

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