When Michael Bay was making Transformers: Dark of the Moon he said that it would be the last movie he worked on in the franchise. Prior to working on the series Bay had never made a complete trilogy, and it was the first time that he had ever made back-to-back sequels without other projects in between (the only other sequel he directed was Bad Boys II and that came out a full eight years and three movies after the first one was made). Committed to making the dark crime comedy Pain & Gain, it seemed as though the blockbuster filmmaker was interested in taking a step away from the big action movies that we're used to seeing him do and try something else.

Then his priorities changed. In February the director officially announced that he would indeed be back for Transformers 4 and would be making it as soon as he was done with Pain & Gain. But why the change of heart? How did he go from being done with the franchise to helming the third sequel? Apparently he simply remembered how much he loved the world and just couldn't let it go.

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Bay said that he had a moment of clarity when Transformers: The Ride debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood. "I thought I was done," he said. "Then the ride came out and the two-and-a-half-hour lines. And then you're thinking, 'Oh my God, someone's going to take this over,' and you start doing a lot of soul-searching." The director said that when he committed himself to Pain & Gain that Paramount started talking about rebooting the franchise, and he was concerned that somebody new would be brought in and would "screw it up."

"So I'm thinking that if I do this last one, we set it on a new footing, we change a lot of things -- but we keep the history of the three in place," Bay said. "But we broaden it so it can be set up and be carried on -- it would have a better chance for survival, I guess...So it was just one of those things. It's like, when you look what's going on in the film business with the franchise frenzy right now, why is Cameron doing two more Avatar movies? Why is Peter Jackson doing three more Hobbit movies that are in the same world as Lord of the Rings? When you have a franchise, it's very hard to give it up."

Not to sound overly cynical, but I have to imagine that Paramount Pictures also threw a ton of money at him hoping that he would keep the franchise going as the last movie made over a billion dollars at the global box office. Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner even confirmed that the franchise is basically just a money making machine a couple weeks ago when he told attendees at the UBS Best Of Americas 2012 Conference that Transformers 4 will feature all new robot characters so that they can sell more action figures. But I suppose that's capitalism.

Transformers 4 will be released on June 27, 2014, and Pain & Gain will be in theaters on April 12, 2013.

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