Michael Bay has made no secret about the fact that "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is his final outing with the franchise as director. But this is Hollywood we're talking about — deals are forged, minds are changed and blindsides lurk about every corner. With that in mind, is it possible that Bay could return for a fourth "Transformers" after all?
We put the question forth to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner during a recent interview, asking him whether or not he could see Bay returning to the series—and if not, might the series continue past Bay's involvement?
"I would say to you right now that I've so enjoyed working with Michael Bay," he answered. "Michael has got this incredible visual sense for showing you things you've never seen before. Perhaps he'll change his mind, perhaps he won't, but I'd rather put out this movie first then cross that bridge at some point."
Turning his attention to the forthcoming movie, Goldner agreed with his contemporaries Bay, Shia LaBeouf and Tyrese Gibson in describing "Dark of the Moon" as the best film in the series: "I really believe it is, and the reason is because we've learned so many things as we've made [these films]."
"The fact is, there's a lot of story here… but we also understand the great spectacle of what 'Transformers' can be," he continued. "It's a great marriage, but with greater meaning. The first trailer shows that the space race is a backdrop to something that had gone on in our past that nobody was aware of. In typical 'Transformers' fashion, it's all about more than meets the eye. That's the core of what 'Transformers' is: you can never judge a book by its cover. We're going to reveal to you, in much more of a thriller style than ever before, that idea of what's going on behind this whole 'Transformers' pre-history."
But as he's looking forward towards "Dark of the Moon," even Goldner admits that there were serious problems with "Revenge of the Fallen," the second film in the franchise. According to the Hasbro exec, the problem with that movie wasn't its overabundance of Transformers – rather, the lack of character development for these robots prevented the audience from getting to know the vast array of Autobots and Decepticons on a deeper level.
"If everyone had understood why each Transformer was in the movie, people wouldn't have cared how many there were," he said. "But once they're just these robots without any real meaning of why they're there, it just became robot melee, and that's not as enjoyable as knowing something about each robot and their personality so that when they do fight, there are stakes to it. That's really what was missing. It wasn't that there were so many robots; there were so many robots that you didn't know."
That's something that "Dark of the Moon" will change, Goldner teased, adding that the third round of robot-smashing mayhem would provide viewers with a higher-stakes storyline: "'Dark of the Moon' has many meanings. It's clearly what we know from the teaser trailer, but it's also this idea that there's darkness, a real cataclysm that could occur here based on knowing the truth of what's happening."
Do you want Michael Bay to direct another "Transformers" film? What do you think of Goldner's assessment of "Revenge of the Fallen"? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!