Michael Bay's Pain and Gain project — which he's recently been eyeing up Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson for — has been long in the making. The director's wanted to make the movie for years — inspired by the Sun Gym gang, a group of Florida bodybuilders who kidnap and torture a businessman, but the plan goes awry for the unskilled muscle heads. You'd think someone with the size of Bay's bank account could come and go as he pleases in the studio, but Paramount is angling to get the director set on Transformers 4. In fact, they're essentially telling him that he won't be able to make Pain and Gain unless he agrees to work with the massive robots for a fourth go-round.
Nothing's been finalized for either project, but Bay does seem to have his mind made up. On the official Michael Bay forum page, the filmmaker dropped this bit to fans just this morning. "Right now I'm not decided on Transformers 4. Studios 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," he shared.
It'd be great to see Bay work on something new, since he's already explored pretty much everything he can for the CG-heavy series. A Vulture insider indicates that the new film " … is definitely not a prequel, and that it will delve deeper into the Transformers canon to mine older characters and lore." Fans will also be seeing more Sentinel Prime. If Bay agrees to both films, it looks like Transformers would start shooting winter 2012. Are you more interested in seeing what Bay could do with a $20 million dollar indie flick, or are you desperate for more Autobots, Decepticons, and the almighty Bay explosions? Can the Transformers franchise hold up without Bay behind the camera if he jumps ship with Paramount?