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Michael Bay hasn't directed a film without Transformers in the title since 2005, but just yesterday he began making headway towards changing that pattern. A report came out that said the filmmaker was looking at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mark Wahlberg to star in his Coen brothers-esque crime comedy Pain and Gain. While it was eventually announced that Wahlberg had decided to pass on the project, Johnson began having talks and it looked like Bay was finally moving away from epic robot destruction. But that was yesterday.

Unnamed inside sources have informed Vulture that Michael Bay is now in talks with Paramount Pictures to direct a fourth film in the Transformers franchise. The news goes against all previous reports, which stated that the director would stay on in a producorial capacity, but this news undercuts that story. The story says that it's actually been Bay's desire to make Pain and Gain that has prevented him from signing on for a Transformers 4, but the source says an official announcement could be released next week. The trick is that a third sequel wouldn't prevent Bay from doing his passion project: the site says that Pain and Gain could go into production as soon as early spring, and that the next Transformers movie would film in late 2012.

While it's hard to tell if this article is 100% factual, it wouldn't be surprising in the least. While Transformers: Dark of the Moon didn't pull in as much cash as the second installment domestically, it was a monster hit internationally, pushing the movie's worldwide box office totals over a billion dollars. Paramount was going to try anything to get Bay back and, for now, it looks like they succeeded.
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