By Aly Semigran
Updated June 10, 2011 at 06:45 PM EDT


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With two-and-a-half weeks to go until Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens in theaters, there’s still ample time to catch up on the first installments, buy ear plugs (they are noisy flicks, to say the least), and prepare to bid Shia LaBeouf adieu. When it comes to the Transformers movies, anyway.

LaBeouf, who has played Sam Witwicky since 2007’s original mega-blockbuster Transformers, all but confirmed at the MTV Movie Awards that he would not be back for a fourth film. “I’m not coming back to do another one,” he told MTV, adding that director Michael Bay probably won’t either. With all due respect to Mr. LaBeouf (whose last name I now only pronounce like Sofia Vergara’s Gloria on Modern Family), but will it matter? While he’s certainly a likable guy, both on-screen and off, isn’t the franchise all about the robots and how much stuff they can annihilate?

That’s not to say that Transformers fans haven’t formed a bond with LaBeouf’s Sam or they wouldn’t be as keen on seeing the next couple of flicks without him, should they be greenlit. After all, it could be argued that Fast and Furious fans only want to see the cars, but the Paul Walker-free The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was the lowest-grossing flick of that franchise.

If the Transformers flicks do go on without LaBeouf, who will the filmmakers (particularly if Bay isn’t on Board) choose? It was no strange coincidence that they chose to replace Megan Fox, the object of many a teenage boy’s desire with … Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the object of many a teenage boy’s desire, so will they pick a similar pedigree for their leading man, a somewhat goofy, but heroic everyman (say, perhaps, someone like Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson)?

Do you think it will matter if Shia LaBeouf isn’t in the next Transformers movie, PopWatchers? Or did you only sit through them because of him? Let us know in the comments section below!

Read more:

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ new details: Moon crashes, crushed skyscrapers, and flying-squirrel soldiers

‘Transformers’ 3 clues found in new Hasbro toys — EXCLUSIVE

What winged beast is in the ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ spot?

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