These days, director Michael Bay’s passions are invested heavily in Pain and Gain, a dark comedy about the true story of a group of body-building kidnappers that is seeking Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg to star. Bay has taken quite an interest in this somewhat offbeat project, which doesn’t scream “epic Hollywood blockbuster” as much as the usual Bay movie does. But perhaps he’s just been paying his dues since Armageddon, in hopes of earning enough clout with the studios to one day (a rapidly approaching day, at that) be able to create his artistic masterpiece with as large a budget and as permitting a contract as he’d need. But of course, studios aren’t entirely on board with him riding out his dream without something else in it for them…Paramount is pushing for a fourth Transformers movie.
Bay has declared no definitive stance on the Trans4mers project. On Bay’s website, he stated, “Studio’s are passing rumors but I’m not sure what I’m doing? I know I’m going to do Pain and Gain early spring but that’s it for right now. I’m leaving all my options on the table. I’ve got several Studio meetings in the next two weeks.” [sic] On the other side of things, however, Vulture is reporting that the director has begun negotiations with the studio about the prospective film.
So what would it take to get Bay on board with another Transformers? Last we heard, Bay’s muse Shia LaBeouf stated his intentions to avoid any further Transformer films. To be clear, it’s not as though Bay won’t be able to make Pain and Gain without also making Transformers 4, but the question is about maintaining a favorable partnership with the studio to whom he is so frugally attached.
So, we might have another Transformers, and we will have a dark comedy about body builders, both at the hands of Michael Bay. The real question is: which will have more explosions?