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Fourth 'Transformers' shapes up for Bay to direct

Tuesday - 2/14/2012, 2:12pm  ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Director Michael Bay plans a fresh take on shape-shifting robots with the fourth installment in his "Transformers" franchise.

Paramount Pictures announced Monday night that Bay will return to direct the next chapter in the blockbuster sci-fi series, due in theaters June 29, 2014.

Bay's third movie based on the Hasbro toy line, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," came out last summer and took in $1.1 billion worldwide.

The studio's announcement said the next "Transformers" will be a new take _ which probably is necessary since star Shia LaBeouf said last summer that he would not return for a fourth movie. Bay's production team will be back, though, including Steven Spielberg as executive producer.

The "Transformers" sequel is part of a two-picture deal for Bay at Paramount. First, he'll direct Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in the crime tale "Pain and Gain," based on a true story about Florida bodybuilders involved in extortion, kidnapping and murder.

Filming on "Pain and Gain" is expected to start this spring.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)