Sometimes the rumors are just plain true. Back in December we'd heard word that Michael Bay was going to return for Transformers 4, and possibly Transformers 5, which Hasbro wanted to shoot back-to-back. After three mind-numbing action spectacles in a row, we wouldn't have blamed Michael Bay for wanting to take a break from giant robots punching each other, so we sat back and waited to hear if he'd take another paycheck or finally make his low-budget passion project Pain and Gain. Today, we can now say for certain: he's doing both.
Deadline reports that Michael Bay has officially signed on to direct Transformers 4, with the goal of releasing the film on June 29, 2014. But not before he takes a quick break to direct the $25 million crime caper Pain and Gain, about two bodybuilders who engage in kidnapping and murder in Miami, Florida. Pain and Gain is set to star Mark Wahlberg (who may have to beef up a bit) and Dwayne Johnson (who may actually have to beef down), and is reportedly part of Bay's deal with Paramount. He'll make their weird action movie if their make his weird crime comedy. Sounds more than fair, especially since Bay's paycheck for Transformers 4 will probably be enough to buy him a few Hawaiian islands. Apparently the idea of shooting Transformers 4 and 5 back-to-back has been set aside for now. Still no word on that weird Jason Statham rumor though.
The best part of this whole story is that the announcement came prematurely, when producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura spilled the beans in an interview with MTV (below). Deadline reports that Di Bonaventura is in serious hot water over the gaffe, and may be seriously admonished by Paramount for ruining their big reveal. They still don't have a story in place for Transformers 4, but in that ill-considered interview Di Bonaventura did say that "We are going to do a reboot there, and what that's going to be we don't even know yet." Hmm… Is that a hard reboot, or are they simply taking the Transformers franchise in a new direction?