Leonard Nimoy signs on for Transformers: Dark of the Moon!

Director Michael Bay has selected the actor who will voice Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon ... and it's a very logical choice indeed.

According to EW.com, Bay has brought Leonard Nimoy on board as the voice of Optimus Prime's predecessor as the leader of the Autobots. We've already seen Sentinel's smashed body on the moon in the film's teaser trailer, where it is discovered by Apollo 11 astronauts back in 1969. In the film's present-day setting, he is brought to Earth and revived, morphing into a fire engine during a climactic battle on the streets of Chicago.

Nimoy, by the way, is no stranger to the Transformers franchise: He was the voice of Galvatron in The Transformers: The Movie (1986). Of course, the legendary actor's other sci-fi credentials (Star Trek, Fringe) pretty much go without saying. (Interesting trivia bit: Another Trek veteran, Roger C. Carmel—aka Harry Mudd—also did voice work for the 1986 animated film.)

Apparently, Bay wanted to hire Nimoy for a role in 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen but was "too scared" to approach him because he didn't think he had the budget to pay him (this on a $200 million picture). Bay added, "Plus, he's married to Susan Bay, who's a cousin of mine. So I had to be careful. I've met him at family functions. But he told me, 'I would be honored. I'm glad to be back!'"

Nimoy might be coming into the franchise at a good time: After Revenge was raked over the coals by fans and critics alike, Bay has said that Dark of the Moon will feature a better story and more developed robot characters. He told EW, "The robots have more character in this movie. Much more. You really understand their struggle, on both sides, actually."

And who better to provide one of the voices of the new, improved Transformers than Leonard Nimoy?

Do you think his involvement will lend an extra drop of class to Dark of the Moon when it opens on July 1?

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