'Transformers 3' confirmed for 2011

Director Michael Bay made the announcement Thursday

Ending a complete lack of suspense, director Michael Bay announced on his Web site Thursday that he is officially on board to direct a third "Transformers" film for Paramount. The release date has been shuttled up a full year, from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2011.

Stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are slated to return, as is "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" co-writer Ehren Kruger. Steven Spielberg will executive produce, as he did on the first two films, which have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide.

Bay wrote that he met with ILM in San Francisco Thursday morning, followed by a flight to Rhode Island with Kruger to meet with Hasbro about new characters.

"Well, it's official: We have a great 'Transformers 3' story," Bay said on his site. "Today is Day One."

Paramount's Summer 2011 is shaping up to have four tentpoles: Marvel features "Thor" and "First Avenger: Captain America" bow May 20 and July 22, respectively. And the DreamWorks Animation sequel "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom" hits theaters June 3.