By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 18, 2010 at 8:31 AM

"Transformers 3" is coming to Milwaukee.

Rumors have abounded recently and now it's official. Director Michael Bay and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce are bringing a cast and crew -- about 150 all told -- to film a scene from the new "Transformers 3" at the Milwaukee Art Museum on July 12.

A casting call will be held Saturday, June 26, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in the Wright Ballroom on the fourth floor. If you're a female or male "trendy executive type," 18 or over, you're invited to show up (with a pen, please).

"We're really excited to showcase the Art Museum in what will be one of the most anticipated blockbuster films for next summer," said Milwaukee Art Museum Director Dan Keegan.

"The film will give the venue worldwide exposure during our 10th year anniversary celebration of the Santiago Calatrava designed Quadracci Pavilion." 

There is not yet any word on whether any of the film's stars -- which include John Malkovich, Shia LeBoeuf, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Patrick Dempsey and Josh Duhamel, among others -- will be present at the Milwaukee shoot, most of which will take place at MAM.

The Tower Automotive site on Capitol Drive will also be utilized, but don't bother showing up at either location. The sets are closed to the public and the museum will be closed to the public on July 12.

"We are thrilled that Milwaukee can host the cast and crew of ‘Transformers 3' and we recognize the economic benefits and pride of place that blockbuster movies bring to Milwaukee and Wisconsin," said Dave Fantle, from VISIT Milwaukee and president of the Film Wisconsin board.

"Logistical planning for the film began last November, and the cooperation between the city, the county and the private sector has been tremendous."

In 2008, Milwaukee hosted the cast and crew of "Public Enemies" and there was an economic impact seen from that, said VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Paul Upchurch.

"All factors considered, including salaries, hotels, food, fuel and miscellaneous equipment, supplies and rentals could pump more than $1 million into the local economy during its very limited shooting window. That does not include the incalculable positive image visibility for the city when the film is released in July 2011," said Paul . 

Other scenes from the film are being shot in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and other locations. Some reports say scenes will be filmed in Russia, China and Africa.

Many locations seen in previous "Transformer" films -- including Hoover Dam and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Udvar Hazy Center -- have gotten a big bump in visits after their appearances.

The film -- expected to be the final installment in the "Transformers" series -- is currently slated for a July 2011 release.


Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.