Directors step down - UPDATED

There must be something in the air - the directors of two of the biggest film franchises in sci-fi right now seem to be stepping away from their projects.

Firstly, Michael Bay has announced that although Transformers 3 is mooted for a 2012 release, he won't be the person at the helm, saying that he needs a break. "It's easy to go shoot an art movie in a winery in the South of France," he's said, "But people have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers. They (the critics) review me before they've even seen the movie." As for what he intends to do next, he's said "I need to do something totally divergent, something without any explosions." That really would be a change of pace.

(Source: wenn.com via IMDb )

Edit: As noted in the comments below, Michael Bay has now denied that he won't be returning to Transformers. "Never said it - just wanted a vacation is more to the point", he's said in a post on his official forum .

Meanwhile, it also seems that there may also be a directorial vacancy on the next Batman movie. Industry insiders have suggested that the tragic and unexpected death of Heath Ledger last year took a serious toll on Christopher Nolan, so much so that Nolan "was convinced that The Dark Knight was going to be it for him and Batman on film". The report also suggests that the next Batman film, which was originally going to feature Joker, won't hit the big screen until 2012 at the very earliest.

(Source: Batman On Film )