Bay boards live-action pic, Spielberg exec-produces

Michael Bay is looking to direct “The Transformers” for DreamWorks and Paramount. The live-action pic, which Steven Spielberg is exec producing, is skedded for a Thanksgiving 2006 release. Shooting will begin in the fall.

The project had been gestating at the studio until Spielberg came up with a new take, which he imparted to scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. (Pic’s original script was by John Rogers.) Kurtzman and Orci built on the idea and pitched it to Bay, whom they worked with on DreamWorks’ upcoming summer actioner “The Island,” and he sparked to it. DreamWorks production prexy Adam Goodman’s relationship with Bay was also instrumental in bringing about the deal.

Kurtzman and Orci are expected to turn in a script within a month, at which point DreamWorks is hoping to lock in Bay.

The Transformers spawned a comicbook series, TV show and animated feature in the 1980s and have a devout following among the retro set. This is Hollywood’s first attempt to transform them to the live-action screen.Angry Films’ Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto are producing along with Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Marc Haimes and John Fox are overseeing the pic for DreamWorks.

Through his Platinum Dunes banner, Bay is a producer on MGM’s remake of “The Amityville Horror,” due out this month.

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