Megan Fox won’t be appearing as Shia LeBeouf’s love interest in a third installment of Transformers, although the party behind that decision remains unclear.
Paramount Pictures reps say the studio passed the actress over to reprise her role as Mikaela Barnes:
…according to Nikki Finke at Deadline.com, it was director Michael Bay who made the call.
“Giving Shia a new love interest [for Shia LeBeouf’s character] makes more sense for the story,” an insider said, according to Finke.
PR flak for Fox wouldn’t let the comments stand, insisting that Fox rejected the role and not the other way around. Reps for Fox say:
“It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best.”
Fox and Bay took some shots at one another in interviews since Transformers 2 hit theaters, with Fox comparing the director to “Hitler” and calling him a “nightmare to work for.” Bay hit back, saying:
“She says some very ridiculous things,” Bay responded at the time. “And she still has a lot of growing up to do. You roll your eyes when you see statements like that and think, ‘Okay Megan, you can do whatever you want.'”
It seemed for a while that the starlet and the director had made up, and as recently as October, Bay said on his blog that he was looking forward to working with Fox on Transformers 3. Reportedly, Emmanuelle Chiriqui , Zoe Saldana, Bar Rafaeli and Brooklyn Decker are all possibilities for Fox’s former role.