The Transformers franchise is just as successful/popular as any other modern blockbuster with the latest entry (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) having done over a billion dollars worldwide (the highest gross of the franchise). But while talking to the press on the last film, Michael Bay suggested that this was his last go-around with the cars that turn into robots. Now he’s being rumored for a fourth. The director (smartly) will not confirm or deny how close he is to making another.

Perhaps the biggest pressure point is that Steven Spielberg has stated publicly that he wants Bay to make a new Transformers movie. It’s a sign that the studio wants to keep going on this thing, and that they want Bay behind the wheel.  Meanwhile, Bay keeps mentioning Pain and Gain, the rumored “small” film he’s talked about for a couple of year, but he won’t deny that he’s taking Transformers meetings. Perhaps he’s using this to get financing (or better financing) on that smaller film, or perhaps he’s just humoring them.

Though there could easily be a replacement, Bay is probably right to want to keep the franchise in his pocket. The series is a cash cow, and a fertile playground to make extremely expensive movies, despite the fact that’s all Bay has directed over the last four years. The franchise will probably move forward with or without Bay, just as it might move forward without any of its previous human actors. All that matters are the robots, and the noises they make whilst they transform.

What movie would you like to see Michael Bay do next?