While a fourth entry in the Transformers franchise is all but inevitable, the question as to who will be directing/starring/writing has yet to be answered. Despite previous comments to the contrary, Michael Bay was rumored to be returning to the destruction robot series back in December. The director quickly responded to the rumors, saying “I’m not sure what I’m doing,” adding that the only solid film on his schedule was the small budget crime comedy Pain and Gain. We’ve heard nothing affirming or flat-out denying Bay’s involvement in the meantime, but now it appears that Paramount may have a 2014 release date in mind for Transformers 4. [Update: Quotes from producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura regarding the release date and story approach to Transformers 4 are now included after the jump]
[Update 2: Michael Bay is confirmed to direct and the film will be a reboot. Read the full story here.]
News of the release date comes from Coming Soon, who adds that while Paramount is looking at 2014 for the T4 bow, Bay’s involvement is still unconfirmed. It’s not unheard of for studios to stake release dates for projects that are still in the nascent stages, so this news isn’t exactly shocking. The previous three Transformers films have opened towards the end of June or beginning of July, so a June 27th or July 4th 2014 release date seems likely. One imagines that if they’re looking at release dates, Paramount must be at least somewhere in the director search. No word on whether that’s Bay or someone new, but I’m hoping Bay steps aside and makes way for a fresh take on the series.
Shia LaBeouf is out and there’s no telling how many (if any) original cast members will return for a fourth go-around, but the story was already running on fumes by Revenge of the Fallen. I’m not sure there’s much left with the franchise’s original characters, and a reboot with new characters and a new director might be the way to go. In any event, should this report turn out to be true expect to hear some firm news on the follow-up soon. Coming Soon also notes that Pain and Gain (Bay’s passion project) is on track to start filming in Miami in April with Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg.
"We’ll be there in the summer of 2014. Michael had a debate because he sort of felt at first that he'd done three. Michael and I are both the same in that we always like to top ourselves. That doesn't necessarily mean bigger. It can be bigger in places, it just means different, but we're going to push really hard as fresh and new as we can be."
Regarding the story, di Bonaventura says they plan on taking an approach similar to G.I. Joe: Retaliation:
"We're going to try to do a hybrid there where there will be some characters that come forward--we think, we're still in the process of figuring it out--and some characters that don't, but it will definitely be a different story."
I feel this is a smart approach, as the franchise is in dire need of freshness. Again, hopefully we'll hear more (especially clarity on Bay's involvement) soon.]
Michael Bay is confirmed to direct and the film will be a reboot. Read the full story here.