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'Transformers': We're already talking about a third film?

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Transformer_lApparently Paramount’s decision to release the third Transformers movie in July 2011 was news to director Michael Bay, who’s currently finishing the second movie in the series, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which is due this summer. Bay said on his official website that he was under the impression that the third movie would be unleashed in July 2012, not 2011, and that he “needs a break from fighting robots.” Either way, you have to wonder: Should Paramount even be committing to a release date before the script is completed, before a director is officially on board, and before the second Transformers movie has opened?

Also, if Bay ultimately opts not to direct the third Transformers movie, who should replace him? I’d love to see a filmmaker with a leaner, less oppressive style take the helm. My dream pick: Alfonso Cuarón (who has already proven that he can handle massive franchises by directing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Cuarón would lend the Transformers film a palpable sense of urgency while not sacrificing the major set pieces (the extended action scenes in Children of Men trump anything seen in Transformers).

But I’m probably speaking heresy to the legions of moviegoers who did enjoy Michael Bay’s Transformers, so what say you, PopWatchers? Should Paramount do whatever it can to keep Bay happy, even if that means pushing the third movie back a year? Or is there another director you’d rather have leading the “robots in disguise”?