Also: Shia LaBeouf officially out of 'Transformers 4' and Fox eyes 'New Mutants' movie
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Official: Shia LaBeouf won't be in 'Transformers 4'
Is the world ready for a "Transformers" film without beloved human protagonist Sam Witwicky?
For some time, there have been rumors that actor Shia LaBeouf was done with the lucrative series and that director Michael Bay and DreamWorks were essentially re-booting the franchise with a new cast.
The actor's absence has now been confirmed by no less than DreamWorks president of production Adam Goodman.
In an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Goodman revealed, "The story is going in a different direction now. Ehren Kruger is writing it for us, and we're starting to engage, but I can't say anything more." Kruger co-wrote the second and third installments.
The first three "Transformers" films -- with LaBeouf starring alongside Megan Fox (who sat out the third), Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro -- grossed more than $2.6 billion at the global box office, making a fourth film an inevitability.
It was revealed months ago that the franchise would head in a new direction, but early rumors about No. 4 and 5 being shot back-to-back and Jason Statham stepping in as the lead were later dismissed. We'll have to wait and see just what they are planning for part 4.
Meanwhile, Goodman also noted that the long-gestating "Top Gun" sequel is closer to becoming a reality and that it will likely shoot before Tom Cruise suits up for "MIssion: Impossible 5."
He also discusses the future of the Jack Ryan franchise, Darren Aronofsky's epic "Noah," the delayed Brad Pitt starrer "World War Z," "Anchorman 2" and the controversial "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot.
Are you interested in a "Transformers" movie without Shia LaBeouf?