Michael Bay has famously declared on at least three occasions that he was finished directing the "Transformers" franchise, only to return for another installment. However, "Transformers: The Last Knight" may truly be his final film in the series.
In a message published on his website at the same time Paramount Pictures released the synopsis for the "Transformers" sequel, Bay paid tribute to the work by the new writers' room to "greatly expand our mythology" and integrate the films. However, he also struck a reflective, almost somber, tone.
"I can safely say that there’s never been a Transformers film with the huge visual scope and expansive mythology as this movie, 'The Last Knight,'" he wrote. "It’s bittersweet for me. With every Transformers film, I’ve said it would be my last. I see the 120 million fans around the world who see these movies, the huge theme park lines to the ride and the amazing Make-A-Wish kids who visit my sets, and it somehow keeps drawing me back. I love doing these movies. This film was especially fun to shoot. But, this time might really be it. So I’m blowing this one out."
He added, "It’s a final chapter and a new beginning."
Of course, it's important to point out that Bay wrote, "this time might really be it," which doesn't have the same weight of finality that some of his previous statements did. “It’s fun to do a movie that 100 million people will see," he said last year. "But this is the last one. I have to pass the reins to someone else.”
Perhaps it's only a sentimental thought from someone about to close the door on a decade-long phase of his career. Or maybe, given his enthusiasm for the contributions of the writers' room, Bay is considering just one more "Transformers" film. Whatever he ultimately decides, Bay won't be completely finished with the robots in disguise: He'll continue to be involved as a producer or executive producer of the Bumblebee spinoff and the announced Transformers sequel.
Bay has, of course, directed all five "Transformers" films to date, beginning in 2007. The franchise has grossed more than $3.7 billion worldwide.
Opening June 23, “Transformers: The Last Knight” stars franchise veterans Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro, joined by newcomers Isabela Moner, Liam Garrigan, Jerrod Carmichael, Mitch Pileggi, Laura Haddock, Santago Cabrera and Anthony Hopkins.