Despite their inability to make a decent film together, Michael Bay and Hasbro cannot seem to quit each other. The above logo is your new placeholder for Transformers 4 which Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner unveiled at something called the UBS Best Of Americas 2012 Conference. Also brought up were the tepid toy sales around Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘s release. But fear not, Cybertronians – Hasbro has a solution for the next film: all new bots!

It’s still unclear if the plan is to do away with old standards like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron; but it sounds more and more like fans can look forward to an entirely new roster (of toys). With new bots, no returning cast members and a hacked budget looking to chop off close to $30 million you’d think we’d be treading reboot territory. But director Michael Bay, speaking with Hero Complex, is quick to detonate such a logical notion:

“It’s not a reboot, that’s maybe the wrong word. I don’t want to say reboot because then people will think we’re doing a Spider-Man and starting from the beginning. We’re not. We’re taking the story that you’ve seen—the story we’ve told in three movies already—and we’re taking it in a new direction. But we’re leaving those three as the history. It all still counts. I met with the writer before I went off to do Pain and Gain and we talked about a bunch of ideas. We let that simmer for a bit. He’s been thinking about stuff and now we’re getting back together next week to see what we’ve got and to see if it gels.”

Unless we’re getting Transformers 4: Beast Wars I can’t say I have any interest in Bay returning to the franchise. Hasbro would be wise in taking the Marvel approach; ie hiring younger, hungrier directors to give them a take on the material. All three films have made their budget back and then some, but they’re also widely regarded as cinematic excrement. This in addition to the sense that Bay has never seemed all that interested in the stars of his films, lending more screentime to Sam Witwicky’s awful parents than the actual robots. Bay has Pain & Gain (based on this fascinating Pete Collins piece) upcoming, and the world might be a better place if it had Bad Boys 3 in it. If Hasbro’s looking to save money on this fourth endeavor, their director might be a good place to start.

Source: Collider, Hero Complex