Michael Bay’s big-budget Transformers series may have made an absolute fortune for Paramount Pictures, but it’s also left many long-time fans of the Autobots and Decepticons feeling somewhat disenchanted. So, it’s probably fair to say that there wasn’t too much excitement within the Transformers fan-base when Bay was announced as returning to helm the fourth installment, which is following Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man lead in rebooting the franchise. However, for those fans dreaming of a Bay-free Transformers movie, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel as Hero Complex reports that “[Bay] says that the fourth film will include some redesign of the robots and an entirely new cast. He also said it will be his last and set the franchise up ‘for the next guy.'”
Now, I must admit that I’m not particularly anti-Michael Bay, and while his big-screen take on the Transformers certainly isn’t Generation 1 quality, it has had its moments and for the most part, I’ve been able to tolerate it (Transformers: Dark of the Moon withstanding). Nevertheless, I can’t help thinking it’s a mistake for Bay to stay on for Transformers 4, particularly as its meant to deliver a fresh start for the series. I mean, haven’t we already seen Bay’s Transformers vision? Does he have two? If so, is this latest vision his second choice? And if not, why didn’t we get this vision in the first place? It seems odd that the original director would remain involved with a reboot, especially if the plan is to “set it up for the next guy,” as surely that’s just going to restrict the vision of whoever is appointed Bay’s successor. Still, it should be noted that Bay is starting to develop a habit of claiming the next Transformers movie will be his last, so it’s quite possible he’ll remain in control of the series for some time yet.
In one other piece of Michael Bay-related news, rumours are circulating that the Bay-produced Ninja Turtles reboot is heading to Vancouver “for a late summer or early fall filming start”. The project, which is to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) has already caused controversy among TMNT fans, following Bay’s statement that his take on the Turtles will see the heroes in a half-shell as aliens, as opposed to the mutated turtles we’ve come to know and love. Expect to hear plenty more about Ninja Turtles in the coming months as principal photography draws closer ahead of its release on Christmas Day, 2013. Turkey, anyone?