Did you know that TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON has made over 1 billion dollars worldwide and ranks as the 4th highest grossing movie of all time? Ya, me either. While I make it no secret that I am a fan of the franchise, I had no idea it was making this kind of money until recently. So if you come across any haters out there wondering why a 4th film is happening, just tell them that that last film made over a billion dollars. Nuff said.

According to an official press release on Michael Bay’s awesome webpage, www.michaelbay.com, the director has officially signed on with Paramount to helm a 4th installment set to release on June 29th 2014. Bay will make a passion project of his titled PAIN AND GAIN first and then begin production on the TRANSFORMERS sequel after that. Here is the official press release:

HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 13, 2012) – Paramount Pictures announced today that director Michael Bay has signed a two-picture deal with the studio, which will commence this spring with the filming of “Pain and Gain,” and will be followed by the next installment in the hit “Transformers” franchise.

Based on a true story, “Pain and Gain” follows a group of bodybuilders who engaged in a campaign of kidnapping, extortion and murder in Florida. First told in an article from the Miami New Times, “Pain and Gain,” will be directed by Bay and will star Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Expected to begin production in early spring, the movie’s producers include Bay, Donald De Line and Ian Bryce.

Following “Pain and Gain,” Bay will bring audiences a new take on the “Transformers” franchise as he begins production on the fourth installment in the hit series of movies based on the best-selling Hasbro toyline. The third, and most recent installment of the franchise, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” is the fourth highest global grossing film of all time with 1.124 billion dollars of worldwide box office success. Directed by Bay, the movie will re-unite the filmmaking team from the hit franchise, including producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto and Ian Bryce; and executive producers Steven Spielberg, Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. Paramount Pictures will release the film on June 27th, 2014.

“Michael has been working on PAIN AND GAIN for a number of years but has patiently waited for the perfect casting to trigger a start,” said Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group. “Clearly his patience has paid off as we couldn’t be more excited about this combo. His passion for this project is just awesome.”

So there you have it, the TRANSFORMERS franchise will be back in 2014 with Bay back in the directors chair. There are no official details yet as to the plot or characters but it is likely that the story line will go in a new direction while staying true to the original film’s continuity much like what we saw with FAST FIVE and will likely see in the upcoming G.I. JOE: RETALIATION.

Sounds good to me! Bring on the Dinobots! Rawr!