You know Paramount will mine that particular franchise until it loses its (financial) luster, at which point it will simply be sold to another studio and/or rebooted.
So while no one can predict the end of TRANSFORMERS, we do know how long star Shia LaBeouf plans on playing with action figures. Indy Jr. (LaBeouf, for those of you who tried so hard to forget CRYSTAL SKULL) told MTV News that TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON will be his last adventure as Sam Witwicky... for now.
“I just don't think right now there's anywhere to take Sam,” said LaBeouf. His comments suggest that though he feels his character is currently played out, he may return years down the line if the story is right.
LaBeouf also spoke to whether or not he would work for director Michael Bay again (a director his TRANSFORMERS 1 & 2 co-star Megan Fox compared to Hitler):
“I was seventeen when I met Michael, and I'm sort of Michael Bay-raised. I've learned a great deal from Michael, as a person, as an actor, as a person on set. And it's not that I don't enjoy working with Michael. I love working with Michael. I would do any movie Michael wants to do. I just don't think there's anywhere to take it with Sam.”Though important as the emotional human center of Bay’s trilogy, Shia LaBeouf really isn’t an essential part of the franchise. Disney discovered with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN that as long as you have Captain Jack, you don’t need any of the original trilogy’s protagonists.
I’m sure Paramount already realizes that as long as they have giant robots smashing, the actor who brings the human element is inconsequential.