All during the lead up to Transformers: Dark of the Moon, both the film’s director Michael Bay and its star Shia LaBeouf made it clear that three was going to be enough for them, and that they would not be coming back for a Transformers 4. Usually when declarations like this are made there’s a lot of hand wringing that goes on as everybody tries to figure out what it would take to get the big names back. In this case, however, the concept of huge robots turning into cars and fighting is way, way cooler than either Michael Bay or Shia LaBeouf.  You guys aren’t coming back? Great, then maybe we’ll finally get a Transformers movie that’s completely awesome.

And if the early rumors turn out to have nuggets of truth to them, then I already like Transformers 4 better than I’ve liked any of the first three. Showbiz Spy is claiming that they have sources close to the development of the franchise, and seeing as the third film is making so much money, a fourth is going to be attempted even without Bay and LaBeouf. And since they can cast off the shackles of the previous creative direction, they are looking to take the Autobots in a much darker and more adult direction. To that end they’re apparently looking at action star Jason Statham to become the new lead of the series.

Could this be a claim being made completely out of left field? Yeah, probably. But now that word is out there, people are talking about it. Even if executives weren’t thinking of Statham for the new Transformers movie before, then they probably are now. The fact that he’s dating Dark of the Moon star Rosie Huntington-Whitely gives him another connection to the series. After not responding to the first three movies very well I didn’t think that it would be possible to get me looking forward to a fourth Transformers, but when I start thinking about that last hour of action in Dark of the Moon (which finally got something right) with Jason Statham kicking ass in the middle of it instead of LaBeouf spazzing out and yelling… well that sounds like a movie that I would go see. How about you?

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