Fourth 'Transformers' shapes up for Bay to direct

February 14, 2012 - 3:15 PM
Film Transformers

In this publicity image released by Paramount Pictures, Optimus Prime is shown in a scene from "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Director Michael Bay plans a fresh take on shape-shifting robots with the fourth installment in his "Transformers" franchise. Paramount Pictures announced Monday night that Bay will return to direct the next chapter in the blockbuster sci-fi series, due in theaters June 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Director Michael Bay plans a fresh take on shape-shifting robots with the fourth installment in his "Transformers" franchise.

Paramount Pictures announced Monday night that Bay will return to direct the next chapter in the blockbuster sci-fi series, due in theaters June 29, 2014.

Bay's third movie based on the Hasbro toy line, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," came out last summer and took in $1.1 billion worldwide.

The studio's announcement said the next "Transformers" will be a new take — which probably is necessary since star Shia LaBeouf said last summer that he would not return for a fourth movie. Bay's production team will be back, though, including Steven Spielberg as executive producer.

The "Transformers" sequel is part of a two-picture deal for Bay at Paramount. First, he'll direct Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in the crime tale "Pain and Gain," based on a true story about Florida bodybuilders involved in extortion, kidnapping and murder.

Filming on "Pain and Gain" is expected to start this spring.