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'Transformers' returns to Chicago with explosions

Michael Bay didn’t wait long to break out the special effects during Transformers 4 filming.

The action director delivered explosions and flipped cars on Friday, which was the first day of filming in Chicago. The scene was shot on the plaza in McCormick Place but was set in Hong Kong. The taxis, buses and Coca Cola truck parked on the streets had Chinese writing, as did the signs and advertisements in the area, including one for a Hong Kong Opera.

“Part of the movie is set in Chicago, and some of what they’re filming here is supposed to be Hong Kong,” said Chicago Film Office director Rich Moskal by email.

The many extras involved in Friday’s shoot were repeatedly asked to scream and run through the plaza at full speed. From what exactly? I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it involved destruction and was big, judging by the way some of the crowed looked up.

The best stunt, however, was saved for last.

Bay had two cars flip over and catch fire in unison as a series of explosions went off around them in the grassy area of the plaza, much to the delight of the small crowd watching from the lobby of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place hotel.

Filming on Saturday and Sunday will take place in the Near East Side neighborhood. There is no word on whether star Mark Wahlberg, who didn’t appear to be on set Friday, will take part in the weekend shoot.

lgomez@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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