Sorry, celebrity stalkers -- we've had no official sightings of multibillion-dollar Transformers franchise director and part-time Miami Beach resident Michael Bay, nor have we seen any member of the the A-list cast he has assembled for Paramount Pictures' Miami-based black comedy Pain and Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, and Bay's latest bikini-clad casting couch discovery, Israeli stunner Bar Paly.
But we may have found out where they'll be shooting next month.
Cultist has discovered the film's likely primary set location: 8000 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Painters were spotted recently outside the kinda crusty, three-story, 38,937-square-foot office/industrial space leased by Terranova Corp., applying teal-colored "Sun Gym" logos to the building's eastern and northern facades, while a half-dozen crew members assembled thousands of dollars' worth of pump-you-up Nautilus machines in the glass-encased top story.
When we asked a crew member about the building's makeover, he answered our question with another question: "What film are you talking about?" When we told him we thought it could be the new Pain and Gain set, he referred us to his boss. A representative of the production quickly appeared and offered this cheeky statement: "I can neither confirm nor deny that this is Pain and Gain, and that we are all employees of Paramount Pictures."
But though we couldn't get an official confirmation, the facts do seem to indicate that this will be one of the film's sets. Pain and Gain is the true story, originally reported in New Times, of two down-on-their-luck bodybuilders and gym managers (Wahlberg and Corddry) involved in a kidnapping and extortion scheme, all to save their Miami Lakes gym -- named, of course, Sun Gym.
The location is also a favorite of Bay's; ten years ago, he transformed the building into a bank for one of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's shoot-'em-up scenes in Bad Boys II.
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Rumor has it the filming schedule will be tight, taking place in April and May. Pain and Gain is the first in a new, two-picture deal Bay has with Paramount, and the studio, understandably, is anxious to get this little film shot and in the can quickly (it's scheduled for theaters sometime in 2013) so Bay can concentrate on generating another billion dollars at the box office with Transformers 4, which is already slated for a June 29, 2014, release.
So, stalk, er, stake your claim now on a prime piece of pavement along the east side of Biscayne Boulevard between NE 80th and 81st Streets outside the newly branded Sun Gym headquarters. Best case scenario: You could come face to face with Dirk Diggler himself. Worst case: This is all just a big coincidence. But hey, you've been meaning to hit the gym anyway, right?