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'Transformers' to Hit Theaters

Some big names in show business are getting behind some big "robots in disguise."

"Transformers," the popular cartoon and toy franchise, is being transformed into a live-action film by director Michael Bay (search), screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and executive producer Steven Spielberg (search).

"Under the direction of Michael Bay, and with Steven Spielberg executive producing, we know that `Transformers' is going to be the kind of explosive action movie that is perfect for the height of the summer movie season," DreamWorks (search) head of distribution Jim Tharp said in statement Wednesday.

The movie is set for a July 4, 2007, release. No casting decisions have yet been announced.

"Transformers," which debuted in 1984, featured battling "robots in disguise" with names such as Optimus Prime, Megatron and Override. They could convert into vehicles such as tanks, fire trucks, jet fighters and helicopters.

The TV show earlier spawned a 1986 animated movie that, oddly enough, included narration from Orson Welles (search) in one of his last performances.

Bay, 40, has also directed "Armageddon," "Pearl Harbor" and "The Island," which hits theaters July 22.