Michael Bay hints he might finally be done making Transformers movies

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Aug 11, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

It didn’t really wow the critics, but Michael Bay’s fourth Transformers film blew out the box office and remains one of the biggest openings of the year. But is he finally ready to hang up his Autobots?

In a recent report on Bay, USA Today notes the director “believes he will pass the baton for future Transformers movies to a new director while he turns his focus elsewhere.” This echoes rumblings in the past where he’s joked about the immense workload and how “hard” it is to make a blockbuster.

It’s not much of a shock to hear Bay might finally want out of the Transformers business. He seemed to have burned himself out with the original trilogy but found some juice with the semi-reboot that brought his pal Mark Wahlberg over to help take on some Decepticons. With that itch scratched, he might try out more projects like his recent Pain & Gain — not to mention all the TV shows he’s actively producing these days.

So who might be next in line for Transformers 5? You don’t have to look too far to find some options. Bay’s Platinum Dunes protege Jonathan Liebesman directed the surprise hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this weekend, which had more than a few Bay-esque notes about it. We wouldn’t be terribly shocked to see a similar situation play out for Transformers, with Bay sliding back to producer for the next sequel.

What do you think? Can the Transformers franchise exist without Bay’s signature, explode-y style?

(Via The Playlist)