A few days ago Hasbo announced their intentions to move forward with Transformers 4, and were in “active discussions” with Paramount, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg.
Following this Variety ran a report which said Shia LaBeouf won’t be returning, however Jason Statham’s name “has been bandied about by sources close to the production” as the new lead and the plan by Paramount was to shoot Transformers 4 and 5 back-to-back. Now, thanks to the power of the internet, both Jason Statham and Michael Bay have addressed the speculation.
Firstly Statham (who is romantically involved with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, so was probably a frequent visitor to the Dark of the Moon set) told MTV:
“You know, I don’t know how those things start. You read them. Someone told me about it. [But] the internet is a dangerous place,” he laughed. “There’s a lot of stuff out there.”
Not to say that Statham would be completely opposed to a “Transformers” movie: “I’ve got a lot of stuff in front of me, but Michael Bay is a talented man. This last one just made a billion dollars around the world, so people like his films. He’s a talented man.”
Actors playing coy is nothing new, but director Michael Bay is known for telling things how it is (like he did when Paramount first set a 2011 release date for Dark of the Moon), and he took to his website to deny the speculation.
I am currently not talking to Paramount on T4 and T5 despite reports. I’m looking at a lot of possibilities coming my way right now weighing options. Most likely going to be doing the low budget Pain and Gain, a true story crime thriller. It’s a very quick shoot and quite funny. Also just finishing the 3 disc set of the Transformer trilogy.
This doesn’t mean Bay won’t enter talks at some point, as i’m sure Hasbro and Paramount will want Bay involved with the Transformers franchise going forward, whether as director or producer.
As for Pain and Gain, it’s a $20m budget thriller which focuses on extortion and abductions in the Florida criminal underworld. I’m sure this will be a breath of fresh air for Bay having worked more than 5 years solidly on the Transformers movies. It’ll also give him the chance to focus more on an actual story, instead of just destroying cities.