all know how Hollywood operates: a movie makes a zillion dollars and the studio is announcing a sequel before the Sunday box office receipts are tallied. Especially when the film in question is seen as the flagship of a new franchise, and the filmmakers have been on the record talking about where they’d like the sequels to go. That’s why many fans have been scratching their heads when it comes to Transformers, one of the biggest movies of the year, and the status of its sequel. Where is Paramount’s inevitable announcement of Transformers 2?

According to producer Don Murphy, it’s being held up by the impending strike. He posted an update on his message board yesterday explaining what’s up:

For those of you most anxious about TRANSFORMERS 2, the silence you hear is primarily because people are fretting about a presumed strike in June 2008. Will it happen? I don’t know- does the public care about strikes anymore in this day and age? What do rich people have to strike about anyway? I don’t have any side here ( you hear about the writers and the Producers but that actually means the STUDIOS) I just think stopping work is kind of pointless. But since no one wants to be filming IF a strike happens, everything needs to be done filming by the end of May 2008. So this is affecting the lack of news about Transformers 2 at least for now. Stay tuned.

I imagine that development work for the sequel began in some capacity before the release of the first one, but that the nature of the project – the effects and editing were taken right up to the last second – precluded serious work. If Paramount isn’t sure they can get photography wrapped before the strike, they may very well not even bother beginning serious pre-production.  We’ll keep checking in with Don for more updates.