According to Bay, his change of heart came at the opening of the 3D “Transformers” ride at Universal Studios Hollywood this past May: “Bottom line is, when you go to Universal Studios and you have the two-and-a-half-hour line, it’s hard to give it up. You birth a baby and you want to carry it on.”
Apparently the director had a hard time letting the films go to another director who might “come in here and screw it up, you know?” He added that “when you have a franchise, it’s very hard to give it up,” and pointed to Peter Jackson’s upcoming three-part return to Middle Earth as further proof of the director/series relationship.
Bay does have a point -- many filmmakers are fiercely protective of their films. Just look at how Christopher Nolan flatly refused to entertain any notions of his interpretation of the caped crusader interacting with Warner Bros. DC universe at large. Or the way Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon are staying away from the 'Bourne' franchise, for now, until they find a story worth telling. That’s why it’s unusual when a director willingly leaves a franchise they started or re-booted, like Gary Ross did from “The Hunger Games” earlier this year or the recent reports of Rupert Wyatt dropping out of the “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” sequel.
Before he returns to robots and explosions, however, Bay’s low-key (at least compared to last few films) Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson-starring “Pain And Gain” will be released next spring on April 26, 2013.