So Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen has already made close to 400 million dollars, and that's JUST world wide. I'm sure there are martians complaining about the film as well. So with the money flowing like champagne, it's no surprise that Michael Bay has already been conjuring up ideas for a third installment of the franchise.
Bay spoke to the LA Times a couple of weeks before the release of Fallen. And hinted that he had have a bigger role in mind for Ramon Rodriguez, who played the Leonardo Ponce De Leon Spitz (Sam Witwicky's conspiracy theorist/blogging roomate) if everything goes as planned for the next Transformers.
I've worked with big stars, people like Will Smith, Sean Connery and Bruce Willis, but casting is a weird thing, it takes you places you don’t expect, We went looking for a sidekick in this movie, Shia’s sidekick, and we find this new kid who really pops on screen. I think he’s going to have a real bright career. It’s great to work with big stars, but it’s always fun to discover people.
Rodriguez was meant to serve as the comic relief for Fallen. But I feel that Sam's parents and John Tuturro's character pulled in way more laughs. Besides, does Shia really need another sidekick? Isn't that what Bumblebee and Megan Fox are for? One of the biggest problems with Revenge of The Fallen was the 20 different story lines going on at once. I don't think bringing back an unnecessary character for an even bigger role is a step in the right direction. But Bay obviously has some major confidence in Rodriguez.
He’s got a street edge and a realness to him. He’s a New York kid with a street feel to him. He adapted to the actors very well, which isn’t always easy in a big movie, a sequel, where a lot of the cast chemistry has been set already. He’s funny, charming, comes off cool and accessible.
Rodriguez has had an interesting path into acting. The New York native was a college basketball star, but didn't have the height to make it in the NBA. He then worked for the New York Knicks' community relations department, which he hated. Rodriguez explained:
You would think I would love it, but working for a team that’s losing is just no fun. It was so gray, so dark, there were layoffs and turmoil.
But by chance, a friend talked Rodriguez into entering a "Nike Basketball-Trick Contest", which he ended up winning by spinning a ball, putting it on the tip of a pen and then gripping the pen with his teeth without interrupting the revolving ball. He then ended up joining the Nike freestyle team, and began touring Europe and Asia, and performing in NBA halftime shows.
He gained footing on the acting front while doing commercials for Nike. And since then has landed roles in FX's 'Rescue Me', 'The Wire', Tony Scott's recent Pelham 123, and of course Revenge Of The Fallen. Rodriguez recalled his bizarre audition for Michael Bay that landed him the role. He explained that...
For 90 minutes, he had me jumping, running, diving over the furniture in his office -- that was the audition. I was drenched in sweat. He told me, ‘OK, hide behind the desk!’ ‘Now, run over here!’ And man, I was looking in his eyes, and he was enjoying it. He’s got a passion for action. It shows in the movies too.
I'm sure there are stranger ways to audition. But that's pretty out there. Was that really what was important to Bay, 'how do you look while jumping over my couch?'. Don't answer, that IS what he finds important.
Revenge Of The Fallen's first five day take of 201 million dollars, fell just shy of The Dark Knight's five day domestic take of 203 million dollars. Extremely impressive to say the least. But there's no way Transformers will have the staying power of Dark Knight.
Would you like to see Ramon Rodriguez return for Transformers 3? Either way, the guy has had the time of his life.
It was the full deal: I remember flying to Egypt to climb the Pyramids … and then taking a Blackhawk helicopter to Petra to shoot there. We shot on an aircraft carrier. I mean, all of it, it was just mind-blowing. I got my shot and, man, it was a good one.
Let us know what and who you guys wanna see for Transformers 3!
For the full interview Click Here.