- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
Mark Wahlberg has signed onto the fourth installment to the "Transformers" film franchise.
The film's director, Michael Bay, announced the news on his website Thursday.
"Mark is awesome," explained Bay, who has worked with the actor before. "We had a blast working on 'Pain and Gain' and I'm so fired up to be back working with him."
While the three previously released "Transformers" have starred Shia LaBeouf, Wahlberg will step in on the fourth sequel.
"An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers' legacy," added the director.
The first "Transformers" was released in 2007 and became the fifth most successful film of the year and was nominated for an Academy Award.
In 2009, the film's sequel, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" was released and grossed even more than its predecessor. A third film, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was released in 2011. Each film starred LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky.
Some were surprised over news of a fourth installment to the franchise, as LaBeouf expressed doubts that it would happen.
"I just don't think right now there's anywhere to take Sam," the actor told MTV News last year.
Rumors of Wahlberg joining the next "Transformers" project had been circulating on Twitter, and many fans took to the social media site with their reactions.
"Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4," wrote Jeff. "I have no words. I really don't know how I feel about it."
Becky posted, "That's fine with me. Mark Wahlberg replacing Shia LaBeouf in Transformers 4."
"Transformers 4" will begin filming this spring, and is expected to hit theaters in June 2014.
Alternately, Wahlberg's "Pain and Gain" will arrive in theaters on April 26, 2013.
Wahlberg stars as a Florida bodybuilder who becomes involved in a kidnapping gone wrong in the film, which also sees Dwayne Johnson, Ed Harris, and Rebel Wilson.