Say what you will about Michael Bay's "Transformers" films, they make coin. With the recent "Transformers: Age of Extinction" having already passed the $1 billion worldwide mark, Paramount has no plans on giving up on this franchise just yet. However, Bay himself may soon be throwing in the towel.
Bay was previously slated to exit the franchise after the third film, but he did a deal to helm the fourth film whilst at the same time getting his passion project "Pain and Gain" greenlit. During press rounds for the fourth film earlier this Summer, series producer Lorenzo diBonaventura was asked about the possibility to which he said he knows it's inevitable one day, but they want Bay onboard as long as possible.
In a USA Today article comes a report that Bay is planning to pass the franchise to a new director so he can concentrate on new things: "There's kind of a new chapter, a new direction in movies I want to make. I have a lot of stories to tell. And it's about flexing new muscles."
Specifically it says Bay is eyeing a new passion project - a documentary on elephant poaching. It doesn't necessarily rule out his return though, and deliberately avoids saying when this transition will take place.
Whilst internationally 'Extinction' is king, domestically it may have a new rival. Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is currently outpacing the recent "Transformers". In its first ten days in the U.S., 'Guardians' has grossed $175.9 million which is just ahead of 'Extinction with $175.4 million at the same point in time. With 'Guardians' scoring much stronger buzz amongst both critics and regular audiences, it's expected that margin will only increase in the coming weeks.