Megan Fox: I wasn't fired—I QUIT Transformers 3!

We've been waiting to hear Megan Fox's side of the story, and here it is!

Following the shocking report that she was dumped by director Michael Bay from the upcoming Transformers 3, Fox issued a statement to People magazine last night, saying that she actually left the movie and was not fired. "Megan Fox will not be starring in Transformers 3," her reps told the magazine. "It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best."

At the same time, Hitfix backed up the 24-year-old actress' statement, reporting that sources "close to the production" also confirmed that Fox was not fired but had quit.

Deadline initially reported that Paramount Pictures officially did not pick up the option to have Fox appear in the summer 2011 release. That site's sources say it was "ultimately" Bay's choice not to bring Fox back, and Deadline is sticking by its original story. Bay is reportedly creating a new female character with screenwriter Ehren Kruger, with just six weeks to go before filming starts.

We may never know the real story, but since being fired from a movie is never good for an actor's career, it seems clear that Fox is trying to put her own spin on it. But now that Fox is out, speculation is turning toward her replacement. Hitfix has already published its own list of actresses who could contend to play Shia LaBeouf's new love interest, while Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans) is already rumored to be the front-runner for the part.

Bay has reportedly also talked with models Bar Rafaeli, Brooklyn Decker and Miranda Kerr about coming on board—glad to see he's thinking about actual acting ability—while Ain't It Cool News and others have also named young Hollywood talent like Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Jessica Lowndes (90210), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek), Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), Camilla Belle (Push), Ashley Greene (Twilight), Amber Heard (Pineapple Express), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) and others as candidates.

What do you think—was Fox fired, or did she quit?

And does it really matter who plays the female lead in a Transformers movie—and whether she can act or not?

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