Michael Bay is back in Chicago and he brought the Autobots and Decepticons with him.
Filming for the new “Transformers” movie began today at McCormick Place and will continue throughout the weekend in the Near East Side and Uptown neighborhoods.
According to a flyer distributed to businesses and residents, helicopters, live stunts and pyrotechnics can be expected Saturday and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The filming locations mentioned on the flier for Saturday and Sunday include East Randolph Street, from North Stetson Avenue to North Field Boulevard, and South Columbus Drive, from East Jackson Drive to East Randolph Street. Aerial work is scheduled for 7 a.m. -10 a.m. both days and will include North Michigan Avenue, from East Lake Street to East Washington Street, and North Lake Shore Drive, from East Chicago Avenue to East Monroe Drive. The flier adds that there will be "helicopter filming above 500 feet in the proximity of (the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower) and (Metropolitan Tower)."
Expect traffic delays and intermittent street and pedestrian walkway closures in the area, in addition to parking restrictions from noon Friday to 11 p.m. Sunday. Those who want to watch filming should note that certain streets will be restricted to local access only.
The previous movie in the Transformers franchise, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," filmed just blocks away from this weekend's shoot on North Michigan Avenue and East Wacker Drive (among other locations) in 2010. The new installment takes place four years after the last one and stars Mark Wahlberg (“The Fighter”). Paramount Studios estimates that "Transformers" will contribute $27 million to the local economy.- Chicago Tribune columnist Luis Gomez contributed