LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mark Wahlberg, star of the upcoming "Transformers: Age of Extinction," is promising the fourth installment of the Michael Bay-directed franchise will be a huge hit.
"For moviegoers all over the world, I guarantee this will take it up a notch," Wahlberg said Monday at the annual movie-theater convention CinemaCon.
Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said Bay was hesitant to return to the franchise until they were able to zero in on the right story and cast that would capture his imagination.
"Michael promised me it would be a very different, stand-alone movie, which it absolutely is," said Wahlberg. "It is bigger and better than the other three (films) combined. This will be the biggest movie of 2014."
In the action film, Wahlberg, who reteams with Bay after last year's "Pain and Gain," plays Cade Yeager, an automobile mechanic who discovers a rundown truck, which is really a transformer. Soon, he's the target of Autobots, Decepticons and the government.
With a series of "Transformers" films, which featured a consistent cast including Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson, Wahlberg admitted he's feeling the pressure of stepping into the shoes of the other actors.
But he says he "had to jump at the opportunity because I really feel like it is probably the most iconic franchise in movie history."
Wahlberg was joined on stage by his co-stars and CinemaCon Rising Stars award recipients Nicola Peltz, who plays his daughter, Tessa Yeager, and Jack Reynor, who portrays Tessa's boyfriend, Shane. But the surprise guest was Wahlberg's 10-year-old daughter, Ella, who is not in the film, but accompanied her dad to Vegas.
"This is (Ella's) first time in Vegas and hopefully her last," Wahlberg joked. The actor flexes his protective daddy disposition in the upcoming action film as well. His Cade comically nags daughter Tessa about her tiny shorts and the boyfriend he didn't know she had, offering a glimpse into the humor of the new film.
Though Bay was expected to attend CinemaCon to also plug "Age of Extinction," Wahlberg says the filmmaker was confined to the edit bay to finalize the film's special effects. Or could he have been afraid of another teleprompter mishap?
"He wanted me to make sure that you all understand that the effects are temp," added Wahlberg of the extended preview shown to the industry crowd.
Unfinished or not, the impressive footage, including bigger, more powerful robots, sharper battle scenes and a fresh crop of good-looking movie stars, could be just the thing to drive home Wahlberg's No. 1 film prediction and cap Bay's massively successful series, which together have grossed over $2.6 billion.
"Transformers: Age of Extinction" is due June 27.
Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind