TRANSFORMERS director MICHAEL BAY has lined up his next sci-fi franchise – based on a collection of novels written by controversial author JAMES FREY.

Bay’s production company has picked up the rights to I Am Number Four, the first in a series of six books about nine aliens who escape to earth before their planet is destroyed.

The movie, which has potential to turn into a multi-part series, follows one particular alien who takes the form of a high school student.

Frey, who co-wrote the tales with Jobie Hughes, found fame and controversy back in 2006 when his best-selling ‘memoir’ A Million Little Pieces was accused of being fabricated.

Oprah Winfrey promoted the book – supposedly a tale of Frey’s battle with drug addiction – on her TV show, helping it become a huge hit, only to criticise the author on air when it was exposed as a fraud.