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Michael Bay may not direct the next 'Transformers'

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Director Michael Bay may finally be ready to step away from his explosive (and explosively successful) Transformers franchise. In an interview with USA Today, Bay tells the paper that he believes he will hand the franchise off to another director for future installments. It's not a done deal just yet, but Bay says that he has other movies that he'd like to tackle. "There's kind of a new chapter, a new direction in movies I want to make," Bay says. "I have a lot of stories to tell. And it's about flexing new muscles." He's reportedly working on a TV project and is interested in making a documentary on elephant poaching.

"I have a lot of stories to tell."

It's worth keeping in mind that Bay has considered leaving the Transformers series in the past — particularly before making this year's fourth entry. That's both a sign that he could once again be swayed into returning, and a sign that he's seemingly continued to lose interest. The Transformers series has basically been Bay's career since 2007, and only last year did he step away briefly to direct another feature, the somewhat quieter Pain & Gain. He's also worked quite a bit as a producer lately, quite distinctively so on last weekend's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

A fifth Transformers film has already been announced, and it's likely that it'll happen with or without Bay. Despite their repeatedly awful critical reception, they've been huge hits with moviegoers — and that's meant big returns for Paramount. Bay is undoubtedly a part of that, and it's hard to imagine a Transformers movie without his influence. The summer would certainly look different with Bay on others projects, but given his history with action movies, that might not be such a bad thing.