Hasbro, which owns hundreds of toy and game licenses, is currently in talks to produce several more films based on various franchises, including Transformers4 and 5.
Although many in Hollywood hoped Bay would return for future Transformers movies, the director went on record as saying that he was not interested in directing any more of the franchise.
Instead, Bay insisted he was focused on a new project dubbed Pain and Gain, a true crime story about a team of bodybuilders who kidnap a wealthy businessman.
Unsurprisingly, it seems as if Bay is having trouble finding a home for the film. Indeed, after nearly ten years of planning, we’ve heard no announcement about it getting picked up by any studio.
Perhaps this is why he just may be willing to compromise. As Vulture reports, Bay is in talks with Paramount to shoot both Pain and Gain and Transformers 4.
It seems quite likely that Bay may have agreed to a Transformers return in exchange for a Pain and Gain green light. Yes, such deal is atypical, but then again, not exactly unheard of. Clearly, Paramount isn't that enthusiastic about Pain and Gain, but the studio does see tremendous value in Transformers with Bay back at the helm.
Essentially, the meager budget of a simple, quick shoot like Pain and Gain is just part of the cost of making Transformers 4. It’s an investment sure to pay off at the box office, even if Pain and Gain loses money.
I expect Transformers 4 to have still more neat robots and plenty of explosions. I would also count on the introduction of additional obscure characters from Transformers lore, after the success of a similar strategy in the last film (of course voicing the character with Leonard Nimoy certainly didn’t hurt).
No word if Bay will be able to get Shia Labeouf back to play the lead, yet another Hollywood star who claimed he was done after three films. However, part of Labeouf's decision seemed to be based on Bay walking away from the franchise, so there is no telling at this point if he might also change his mind.
The deal has not yet been solidified, though an official announcement could come as early as next week.