Who Will Succeed Michael Bay To Direct 'Transformers 3'?

Michael BayMichael Bay may be going a step further than merely taking "a year off" between directing "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Transformers 3." The Hollywood action and explosion guru told MTV News previously that he wanted to take a break following this year's blockbuster to focus on a "small movie," but those ambitions appear to have spurred a complete departure from the franchise, leaving an open chair for the series' next director.

"After the three and a half years I've spent making these movies, I feel like I've had enough of the Transformers world," Bay told WENN. "I need to do something totally divergent, something without any explosions."

Extravagant pyrotechnics have been Bay's signature in his best known films like "Pearl Harbor," "Armageddon" and "The Rock." A less flammable screenplay would represent a noticeable shift away from his usual fare, and one that probably doesn't leave much room for a Bay-helmed third "Transformers" movie.

Nevertheless, if Paramount still wants to produce a "Revenge of the Fallen" follow-up by 2011 (which, incidentally, Bay understood to be 2012), they will need an ambitious director who isn't intimidated by the bar Bay has set for live-action giant robot fights.

One possible replacement is James Cameron. The sci-fi legend behind "Terminator" has a long-standing reputation of thinking big. He's currently hard at work on his pet project "Avatar," but if Paramount wants someone who can match Bay's scope and scale, Cameron would be one of the first names worth talking to.

Ridley Scott is another cool possibility, though he's kept rather busy himself lately. If Hasbro wants the "Blade Runner" director to make "Monopoly," they probably wouldn't want to clog his schedule any further. While Bay has been busy making things go boom for the last few years, Scott has been drifting through more grounded genres with films like "American Gangster" and "Body of Lies." It might be fun to see Scott get back to his outer space action roots, though that my be just what's happening if Fox gets their way with the recently revealed "Alien" remake/reboot/retool.

Also on the hot list this summer if ""Terminator Salvation" director McG. The most obvious pick in movie-making right now would likely be the most difficult to pencil in. He has a backlog of potential projects a mile long following "Salvation." McG is right up there with Bay when it comes to today's name in action-oriented filmmakers.

What do you think of Michael Bay's decision to leave the "Transformers" franchise? Who would you like to see replace him for the next sequel? Share your proposals in the comment section below!