Gemma Arterton Faces Off Bar Refaeli to Be 'Transformers 3' New Leading Lady

The 'Clash of the Titans' beauty is said to be the frontrunner, while young stars such as Camilla Bella and Vanessa Hudgens are reportedly also among the contenders.

AceShowbiz - Soon after %cMegan Fox% confirms her departure from "Transformers" film franchise, names of stars who could replace her have been thrown. TheWrap reports that %cGemma Arterton% is currently in competition with models %cBar Refaeli%, %cMiranda Kerr% and %cBrooklyn Decker% to take the role of the new female lead in "Transformers 3".

An individual close to the casting process says the "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time" actress has already had discussions with Michael Bay about the coveted role. Refaeli and Kerr also have reportedly read for casting director, while Decker has the most substantial acting career of the three models. However, TheWrap claims Arterton is still the top choice for the movie helmer and Paramount Pictures.

Another site Ain't It Cool News (AICN) also comes out with another list of possible new "Transformers 3" beauty. According to their source, %cZoe Saldana% ("Avatar"), %cHayden Panettiere% ("Heroes"), %cCamilla Belle% ("10,000 B.C."), %cAshley Greene% ("Twilight") and %cVanessa Hudgens% ("High School Musical") are being considered to replace Megan Fox.

The competition reportedly also involves some less notable stars such as %cEmmanuelle Chriqui% ("Entourage"), %cJessica Lowndes% ("90210"), %cAmber Heard% ("Zombieland"), %cJulianne Hough% ("Footloose") as well as English model %cRosie Huntington-Whiteley%.

Since Megan Fox quit "Transformers 3", Michael Bay, writer Ehren Kruger and Paramount Pictures reportedly plan to take the story "in another direction". The director is said to find Sam Witwicky's new love interest that "makes more sense for the story."

%cShia LaBeouf% is still on board to reprise his role as the owner of Bumblebee, joined by %cJosh Duhamel% who will return as Major Lennox. Production of the film has begun earlier this month, while the movie is set to open wide in U.S. cinemas on July 1, 2011.

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