'Transformers 4' To Be Directed By Michael Bay?

Director is said to be close to inking deal with Paramount.

Michael Bay could be heading back to the director's chair for the fourth installment in the "Transformers" series, but as always, there's more to the story than meets the eye.

New York magazine's

href="" target="_blank">Vulture blog is reporting that Bay and Paramount are close to signing a deal that would bring the director back for the fourth go-round. The source cited in the report stated that a fourth "Transformers" movie is Paramount's bargaining chip with Bay, who has been trying to make "Pain and Gain," a true-life low-budget thriller, since 1999.

Paramount declined MTV News' request for comment.

Rumors about a fourth "Transformers" movie have been circulating for months, but most of them concern a proposed replacement for the series' former star, Shia LaBeouf. Jason Statham was said to be up for the lead in the fourth and fifth entries in the series, but the actor denied his involvement.

As recently as October, Bay had said that he had not entered into discussions with Paramount about possibly directing the next two "Transformers" movies. He took to his own Shoot for the Edit blog to swat down claims he was in negotiations with the studio. Again, he asserted that his attention was focused on "Pain and Gain."

But early Wednesday (December 7) morning, Michael Bay took to his personal blog once again to comment on Vulture's original report. The thread's subject reads, "Now now I'm not decided on Transformers 4," and the director confirmed plans for "Pain and "Gain." "Studio's are passing rumors but I'm not sure what I'm doing? I know I'm going to do Pain and Gain early spring but that's it for right now," Bay wrote. "I'm leaving all my options on the table. I've got several Studio meetings in the next two weeks."

The report from Vulture does account for "Pain." If the deal is to go through for "Transformers 4," Bay is likely to shoot "Pain" immediately and start production on "Transformers" in late 2012.

According to the article, the film would definitely not be a prequel to the previous three and would dig deeper into the franchise for new characters that haven't been explored yet.

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more -- updated around the clock -- visit