UPDATE (Wednesday 11:17 pm): Fox's representatives told People magazine that it was Megan's decision to leave the film. The Wrap is reporting that Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans and the upcoming Prince of Persia) is at the top of Bay and Paramount's list to replace Fox.
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Transformers co-star Megan Fox will not be appearing in the third installment of the mega-hit franchise. The news comes several months after Fox loosely compared director Michael Bay to Hitler in an interview with Wonderland magazine. After trading jabs back and forth, it appears Bay will get the last laugh as he and co-writer Ehren Kruger are writing in a new love interest, a decision that ultimately rested with Bay. All this is according to a Paramount insider.
This rather infamous mud-slinging war between Fox and Bay began back in September 2009. Fox told Wonderland, "(Bay) wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for." Her comments unleashed a lot of criticism and prompted a letter from Transformers crew people insisting that Fox is the nightmare to be posted on Bay's website. Bay updated his website after the fact not condoning neither Fox nor the crew, but later sent Fox a note announcing the third movie's release date and poking fun at her comments. If you want to see all the comments, check them out at Deadline.
I wouldn't expect it to be hard to write Fox out of the franchise, but on a movie of this magnitude, it's something that won't be easily covered up. This outdoes Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2 a hundred fold. For one thing, Fox prompted a lot of guys to put up with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen despite their better judgment. The shoes that will have to be filled by Shia LaBeouf's new love interest are enormous as a result.
Fox also has her career to be concerned with. She failed to produce a hit as the main draw in Jennifer's Body last fall. She'll have a chance in Jonah Hex next month, but if that film doesn't produce big numbers, she's going to slowly find herself in a Lindsay Lohan kind of place, namely reality television. It just doesn't look good to studios when you're dumped off the wagon of one of the most lucrative active film franchises today.
If the reports are indeed accurate, it will provide a lot of interesting publicity as "Transformers 3" gears up for production.
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