Yay, Nay, or Maybe: Transformers 4 Without Bay or LaBeouf (but Maybe Spielberg and Statham)?

by | Jul 3rd, 2011 | 2:24PM | Filed under: News, Quizzes, Contests & Polls

Having earned over half a billion dollars worldwide in a dozen days, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is knocking over box-office records and making Paramount Pictures very, very rich and happy. So yes, there will be a Transformers 4.

However, both series star Shia LaBeouf and director/mayhem maestro Michael Bay have said three is enough and they won’t be coming back.

LaBeouf is no big loss. Sure, he’s a likable (though increasingly erratic and motor-mouthed) actor, but let’s not kid ourselves. No one (except maybe my co-blogger Erika) is seeing Transformers movies for Shia. He gave the films a decent human center, but like his former co-star Megan Fox, he can be easily replaced without the box-office skipping a beat.

Losing Bay is a much bigger deal. I take my fair share of potshots at Michael Bay for his juvenile and sometimes offensive proclivities, but I’m also the first to defend his amazing touch with Big Action Sequences. He’s a cretin when it comes to slobbering over cheesecake shots and potty humor, but my god does the guy know his way around Giant Battling Robots.

The scale, mecha-heft, and visual energy Bay’s brought to the Transformers movies will be missed–and will be much harder to replicate than the producers and studios might think. Love him or hate him, Bay has an innate, almost savant genius for presenting massive action scenes (when he slows down and lets them breathe a little).

(That said, I’m not 100% convinced Bay is done directing Transformers movies. Everyone always says they’re done, and they often get pulled back in. Personally I’d prefer to see him move on and apply his crazy talents to something new–he’s said he wants to take a break from the Big and try a small, Tarantino-esque crime flick, possibly from a script known as Pain and Gain. But there will no doubt be Transformer-sized bags of money dangled in his face to stay with the TF franchise.)

But if Bay (and LaBeouf) does not return, where’s that leave things for Transformers 4 and beyond? Here’s a roundup of some of the most recent Transformers rumors:

  • Transformers producer Don Murphy said on his own site’s message board that the fourth film will not completely reboot the series, nor will it be (as some T-Formers fans have clamored for) an all-’bot affair set on Cybertron. There will still be human stars, wrote Murphy, though the new movies will veer off into a new story arc.
  • This next one you can file under Industry and Fanboy/girl Wishful Thinking: That Transformers executive producer Steven Spielberg might step up and direct the new movie himself. The root of the Beard rumor is a MovieWeb interview with TF actor Tyrese Gibson who merely speculated on the idea. (As I’ve noted before, actors say lots of things in press tours, much of it born of their own wishful thinking and PR-stirring.) Spielberg’s slate is always triple-booked: Right now he’s finishing up Tin-Tin and War Horse, is getting ready to shoot Lincoln, and has his own Battlin’ Robots Movie (Robopocalypse) to direct for 2013.
  • Finally there’s been lots of “speculation” and rumors that Paramount is looking at Jason Statham (The Mechanic) to replace LaBeouf, which might move the franchise in a slightly edgier, more grown-up action direction. (Plus, Statham currently dates Dark of the Moon model/co-star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.) It sounds intriguing, but most likely again more the product of Wish Lists than actual studio plans. However, Paramount surely doesn’t mind such loosely sourced media musings, as they keep the attention where the studio wants it–on Transformers–and gets fans hopeful for a new movie instead of bemoaning the possible loss of Bay.

So what say you all? Would you be excited about a new Transformers movie even if Michael Bay wasn’t involved? Maybe more so? If Bay doesn’t come back, who would you like to see direct TF4? Spielberg? And would Statham make a solid human addition to the cast?

Vote in the poll, and then explain your “yay,” “nay,” or “maybe” in the comments below

Would you be excited about a Bay-less Transformers movie starring Jason Statham?

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10 Responses to “Yay, Nay, or Maybe: Transformers 4 Without Bay or LaBeouf (but Maybe Spielberg and Statham)?”

  1. Jerry Robinson
    Posted on July 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I ask only that they keep Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime. I’d see and probably like it anyway, but any movies without him as the voice of Optimus would not be the same. This comes from someone who grew up on the original cartoon series.

  2. Fiirvoen
    Posted on July 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    I think you really underestimate the draw of Shia LaBeouf. His character is really what made the first film watchable. Having not yet seen the third, I can’t say if he’s still providing much, but he’s certainly a likable actor.

  3. Locke Peterseim
    Locke Peterseim
    Posted on July 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I really underestimate? Ha, not hardly. There is no “Shia Draw” with these films — the draw is really big robots punching each other and destroying cities in the process. I’m not saying LaBeouf isn’t a likable actor (in fact, I said that exact thing) — I didn’t mind him in the TF films, but I won’t miss him, either.

    Nor am I underestimating the need for a human protagonist–you need some sort of relatable center-pin for all that robo-mayhem, and the producers understand that. I’m just saying no one cares if it’s Shia or someone else. It could be any “likable” actor, whether it’s another young “innocent civilian” type like Sam or a new, more action-centric Statham type.

  4. Thomas
    Posted on July 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    With Transformers 4 they better have Megatron in it or at least Galvatron and give him a better ending then Dark of the Moon because how the hell did Megatron take down Sentinel with 3 shots while Prime got destroyed by Sentinel then Prime killed Megatron with one move

  5. Angie
    Posted on July 12, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I do watch the Transformers movies strictly because Of SHIA! I love his quick, raw, gritty way of talking and moving, hes quick. His sense of humor is wonderful. So I won’t be a fan of Transformers 4. Watch Shia in his other movies, I Robot, Disturbia, Eagle Eye, Indiana Jones ( new one) and his talent shines through all!

  6. Rhonda Price
    Posted on July 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

    They need to keep the same people from the original part one and two. I’m very upset that Megan Fox wasn’t in the third one.

  7. Jennifer Sci Fi Friend
    Posted on July 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Locke, I have to agree with Firroven, you underestimate the draw of Shia for the Transformer movies. I agree with her on the whole watchable factor. I am not saying he is eye candy. And I do not think he can be replaced easily like Megan Fox. He brings a believability quality to talking to thin air a.k.a as “B”. I find his comedic timing with thin air pretty funny. And his interaction with Turturro and Malkovich and Mcdormand worked for me. I found myself laughing out loud numerous times during T3. And I took my parents (who are in the 70′s) to see the movie and heard them laughing out loud. While the writers are in charge of the lines, does not the director and the actor make them come alive???

    I think Statham would bring an edgier feel and lose a bunch of the audience especially fan boys/girls in the process. Statham would bring too much on an adult feel to the franchise and I wonder how much of the draw for the current audience is from their childhood memories. Voltron anyone?

    Even with all that said, I agree with Bay and LaBeouf, 3 is enough…..

    Oh and when you do a poll, generally does one not just ask one question for answer instead of three or four???? :)

  8. Allen
    Posted on September 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I don’t think they’ll make a fourth transformers movie, however, if they do, then I want it to be like a prequel, like what happened on Cybertron before the autobots and decepticons reached earth, or have Unicron in it! That’s what I was expecting in the third movie, but my guess was completly thrown out when I figured out that Shockwave would be “the main villain.” Notice how i put that in quotes because he wasn’t actually the main villain.

  9. ryan
    Posted on July 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    The Transformers is a iconic franchise. Whesther it is the cartoons or movies i want to see more. Besides you never know change could be a good thing.

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