'Transformers' 4 & 5 may shoot back-to-back
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and Hasbro were so fond of the $1 billion that “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” made worldwide that they're going for two: plans are being considered to shoot the fourth and fifth installments back-to-back, Variety's Justin Kroll and Marc Graser report. Hasbro said on a Monday earnings call that it was in "active discussions" with Paramount, Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg on how to move forward, and sources close to the planning process tell SHOWBLITZ it could actually be two films headed into production, a measure that can save millions because cast and crew deals only be negotiated once, among other factors. Nothing is set in stone, but screenwriter Ehren Kruger is said to have an idea for the next installments that the studio likes. One element that won’t return: Shia LaBeouf, who’s said he’s moving on, giving Paramount the chance to pair a new face with the shape-shifting robots. Though one name — Jason Statham — has been bandied around by sources close to the production, no offer has been made. While Bay will serve as an executive producer alongside Spielberg, sources close to the development said Bay is still interested in directing, he may want to knock out his competitive body-building passion project “Pain and Gain” first.