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Report: Michael Bay in final negotiations to direct fourth Transformers movie

Vulture is reporting that Michael Bay will direct a fourth Transformers movie for Paramount Pictures. According to the site, the decision is tied to Bay’s desire to direct Pain and Gain:

“[B]ased on a three-part New Times story about the infamous “Sun Gym gang” a group of dimwitted Miami bodybuilders who kidnapped, tortured and robbed a Florida businessman but got their comeuppance when their left-for-dead victim hires a private eye to hunt them down. Insiders tell Vulture that Bay has been seeking to adapt the sordid revenge tale almost since its publication in 1999, and that it’s proving the major blandishment in getting Bay to commit to launching a new Transformers cycle. ‘Without Pain, there’s no tit for tat,’ explains one person familiar with the talks, ‘That’s Paramount’s leverage.’ “

If everything goes according to plan, Bay could begin work on the fourth Transformers movie by winter 2012. Details are being kept secret, but Vulture reports it’s not a prequel and “will delve deeper into Transformers canon to mine older characters and lore.”

“Regular people might not care about bringing out a character like Sentinel Prime,” says one of our insiders, referring to the little-known character who played a major part in last summer’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, “But believe me, fans of the series cared.”

An announcement for either one or both projects, could be made by as early as next week.