Even Optimus Prime himself promises to be dwarfed by the vision of Michael Bay, Hollywood's reigning action-movie king ("Pearl Harbor," "Armageddon"). Bay, who enjoys his movies big and his explosions loud, will direct a still-untitled live-action film based on the Transformers toys and TV programs. Steven Spielberg and his fellow producers selected the former rock-video auteur to take the reins of what is expected to be an ambitiously financed production. Writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who wrote Bay's upcoming Scarlett Johansson/ Ewan McGregor sci-fi flick "The Island," are expected to turn in a script by the end of the month that will detail the heroic Autobots (led by Prime) and their struggle with the insidious Decepticons. The film is scheduled to begin shooting this fall, aiming for a Thanksgiving 2006 release. ...

Amanda Bynes is slated to star in "She's the Man," a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" that promises to bring the play to a new generation much like "10 Things I Hate About You" did for "The Taming of the Shrew." Bynes will be cross-dressing to portray a girl who poses as her missing twin brother, resulting in comedic and romantic complications. Andy Fickman ("Who's Your Daddy?") is directing the movie for DreamWorks. "I really just look for something that is funny and looks like it would be fun to do," Bynes said of her career choices. "I want something that is all-around good." ... With recently announced director Matthew Vaughn putting together his cast for "X-Men 3," the heroes are beginning to assemble. Deals have been struck to bring back sideburned superhero Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and the telepathic object of his affection, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). Halle Berry, another veteran of the first two misunderstood-mutant films, expects it to be her next project. "Probably 'X3,' and after that I'm not so sure," said the Oscar winner. "All that stuff is in the works. When it will be, I'm not sure, but 'X3' probably, hopefully next." Berry, who portrays the weather-conjuring heroine Storm, is expected to ink her deal soon, as are co-stars Ian McKellan (Magneto) and Patrick Stewart (Professor X). ...

Although the movie itself aimed to launch the film career of a different member of the Spears family, "Crossroads" may someday be remembered as the movie that put Britney's little sister on the road to superstardom. Jamie Lynn Spears, who turns 14 this month, made her big-screen debut in that film playing a younger incarnation of her big sister, and her career has since taken off on the popular Nickelodeon TV series "Zoey 101." Someday, however, she wants to get back to the megaplexes. "Definitely," she said enthusiastically. "I think it would be fun to do movies later on, but right now I'm just kind of doing the Zoey thing." ... As one of the smallest-sized stars in Hollywood, Jada Pinkett Smith is dying to see herself turned into a big fat hippopotamus. "Hey, I'm an actress," the "Madagascar" star laughed. "I can make miracles happen." Playing a feisty hippo named Gloria, the five-foot-tall Mrs. Will Smith summed up the storyline as "about some animals that are living in the zoo and then get shipped off to another zoo. They get lost at sea and get stranded on this island and have to learn how to take care of themselves because the humans have taken care of them for so long." The CGI-animated film will be released May 27. ...

Within the moviegoing audience's circle of trust, "Bruce Almighty" is out and the Fockers are in. "Meet the Fockers" now stands as the top live-action comedy of all time, grossing over $500 million globally. These seem to be some durable "Fockers," as the film hasn't even opened yet in Japan and Korea, two markets that could push the final tally far beyond its $500 million mark. Fans of the Ben Stiller/ Robert De Niro sequel will soon have plenty of opportunity to watch the mismatched duo, as the DVD is due April 19. ... You might want to make sure you're not eating when you watch the new trailer for "Red Eye," which is now available to scare the pants off you in our Trailer Park. After getting through a sappy "The Notebook"-ish beginning, you'll realize that director Wes Craven is up to his old tricks with this story of a friendly airline passenger (Rachel McAdams) who finds herself sitting next to something far scarier than airline food. "28 Days Later" star Cillian Murphy, as the stranger with the titular ocular ailment, already looks scary enough to make you want to grab a parachute and take your chances. The film hits theaters August 5. ...

Jessica Alba, currently burning up the big screen with "Sin City," will follow the film up by revisiting a movie that was already wrapped — supposedly. "Right now we're going to go back up to Canada and do some reshoots for 'Fantastic Four,' " said the actress, who plays invisible woman Sue Storm in the comic-book blockbuster. Although fans might be concerned to hear the R-word being used this close to the film's July 8 release date, Alba insists "Four" will please the masses. "It's the best, biggest comic-book movie I've ever read. I can't wait for everyone to see it and love it." ...

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