Yesterday the CEO of Hasbro said in an earnings conference call that the company is already in talks with Paramount, Steven Spielberg, and Michael Bay about making Transformers 4. Spielberg produced the three existing films and Bay, as I’m sure you’re aware, directed the trilogy. I assumed, given Bay’s statements over the last year, that he would be involved in only a producer capacity. But a story later yesterday afternoon linked Bay as director to Transformers 4 and 5, which might shoot at the same time.

But the lines of communication aren’t quite clear, because Michal Bay is now saying he has not talked to Paramount about additional Transformers movies.

On the forums of his own site, Shoot For the Edit, Bay said,

I am currently not talking to Paramount on T4 and T5 despite reports. I’m looking at a lot of possibilities coming my way right now weighing options. Most likely going to be doing the low budget Pain and Gain, a true story crime thriller. It’s a very quick shoot and quite funny. Also just finishing the 3 disc set of the Transformer trilogy.

Frankly, that reeks of spin. Why would Hasbro’s CEO claim out of nowhere that he was having conversations that don’t exist? Makes no sense. There’s more going on here than a simple “are they talking or are they not” situation.

Shia LaBeouf has said he is done with the series, and the persistent rumor is that Jason Statham is being considered to lead the next set of movies. But as Pete reported earlier today in Page 2, Statham is throwing water on that fire. Speaking to MTV, he addresses the rumors that he might star in Transformers 4 and 5:

“You know, I don’t know how those things start. You read them. Someone told me about it. [But] the internet is a dangerous place,” he laughed. “There’s a lot of stuff out there.” … “I’ve got a lot of stuff in front of me, but Michael Bay is a talented man. This last one just made a billion dollars around the world, so people like his films. He’s a talented man.”

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