'Transformers 4' gets release date, Michael Bay returns as director
Michael Bay is working on a fourth "Transformers" film, which is set for release in 2014, and is also thinking about directing his first television pilot.
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon," the third film in the hit sci-fi franchise about alien robots, has made more than $1.24 billion worldwide since it was released in June 2011. It is unclear if Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who starred in the previous installment, will reprise their roles in the fourth movie.
"Directed by Bay, the movie will re-unite the filmmaking team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce; and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian," Paramount Pictures said in a statement, adding that the film is set for release on June 29, 2014.
Bay said himself on a message posted on his website: "To clarify uninformed reports coming out of Toy Fair - Steven Spielberg and I are working on a whole new re-imagining of Transformers, the fourth installment. "We have been working on the idea for a few months. I'm excited about where it's headed."
The Toy Industry Association's annual Toy Fair expo is taking place in New York this week. The "Transformers" films are based on a Hasbro toy line. The first three movies were directed by Bay, while Spielberg served as their executive producer.
Paramount Pictures said it had signed a two-picture deal with Bay. The fourth "Transformers" movie will begin production after the filming of the first, "Pain and Gain," stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, "The Rock." The movie depicts a true story about bodybuilders who took part in a "campaign of kidnapping, extortion and murder in Florida," the studio said in its statement.
"I'm extremely excited to simplify my film career this spring with a great character piece," Bay said about 'Pain and Gain.' That starts filming at the end of March. I might then jump onto a very cool television show my company Platinum Dunes is selling to a major cable network. It might be my first pilot I might potentially direct. We are still working out the details of the deal."
Bay has also directed movies such as "The Rock," "Pearl Harbor," "Armageddon" and "Bad Boys" and its sequel.
The first "Transformers" film, which was released in 2007, made more than $709,000, while the 2009 sequel, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," earned more than $836,000. Both movies starred Megan Fox. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaced her as the female lead for the third film, which marked the British Victoria Secret model's acting debut.
Fox had said she walked away from the project, but Bay said Spielberg suggested she get the ax after causing a press firestorm by comparing Bay to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. LaBeouf had previously implied that Fox was uncomfortable with the sexuality involved in her "Transformers" role.
Huntington-Whiteley and LaBeouf have not commented about Bay's plans to make a fourth "Transformers" film. The actress and model, who had previously worked with the director on Victoria's Secret commercials, and that she said she "had a blast" filming "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."
"I feel very grateful to Mike and to everybody that believed in me and took a chance on me," she said in an interview last summer. "I've never been around anyone that works as hard as him. He's totally dedicated to these movies."