I've just learned that Paramount won't be picking up Megan Fox's option on Transformers 3 -- and that it was "ultimately" director Michael Bay's decision. (So he gets his revenge for her remark comparing him to "Hitler".) Right now Bay and writer Ehren Kruger et al are finishing up the script for the threequel and "giving Shia a new love interest makes more sense for the story," an insider tells me. Bay will start casting immediately for the new female co-star.There has been a bit of history between Megan Fox and Michael Bay. You have her not polite comments on the films, her like Hitler comment, a letter written by crewmembers asking to remove her, Bay's response & Megan's response to the letter and sure more we are not aware of. However, all of this happened months ago and would not explain a sudden move to replace her after principle photography started.
There are multiple caveats on why this is likely false. One, Deadline probably has around a .500 batting average on its rumors in general and has shown tendency to edit their posts to make it seem more accurate then really is. Two, Megan Fox has already been on a Transformers 3 set with the Bumblebee Camaro and makeup for Transformers 3. Three, expensive movies like Transformers 3 tend to avoid replacing their leads after principle photography has started. Sure the Hitler comment could be a cause but if Bay was going to replace her, that decision and casting would have occurred months ago, not now. Finally, Bay already said back in November that he wasn't killing Fox's character and welcomed her return (of course he tends to lie...).
It should be noted that the article claims the script is currently being finished and didn't mention that principle photography has already begun indicating the site is a bit behind the news regarding the movie. While not unprecedented for leads to be replaced after filming has started, it is rare and only occurs under extraordinary circumstances. I don't recall it ever happening for a sequel. Big news like this is going to have to be sourced from other known sources before I recommend anyone take it seriously.
Update: Hey what do you know, more sources already. From Variety, "A studio spokeswoman disclosed Wednesday that Par[amount]'s decided against picking up Fox's option to star as Mikaela Banes in the third installment but declined to elaborate." Thanks to Darian for the link.
CNN is also reporting, "A rep for Paramount confirmed to CNN that Megan Fox won't be back to reprise her "Transformers" role Mikaela Banes for the third time." Thanks to Brian for the link.
I have to wonder what happened for this decision to come down now rather than months ago. It has to be something recent (maybe from that set visit) that became the proverbial straw. Fox will have to start promoting Jonah Hex soon so might get more information then.