Bay reconfigures Transformers
Michael Bay is among the most driven filmmakers in all of Hollywood, and right now his biggest motivation is making people forget his last movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
“It was kind of a mess, wasn’t it?” an unsmiling Bay said of the 2009 film, which was far from a flop — it grossed a potent $836 million worldwide, finishing third for the year behind only Avatar and the sixth “Harry Potter” movie. But the director still talks about the blockbuster in tones of regret.
“Look, the movie had some good things in it and it was entertaining and it did very well, but it also failed in some key ways. I learned from it. And now with this third movie we’re going back to basics and I absolutely believe this is going to be a much better film than the second one.”
As Bay spoke, he was standing on the Playa Vista set of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, his ninth feature film as director and, to his own surprise, his third movie about Bumblebee, Megatron and the other giant, shape-shifting alien robots called Transformers. It’s due out July 1.
The 45-year-old director was skeptical when executive producer Steven Spielberg approached him back in July 2005 with the concept of making a Hollywood franchise out of a Reagan-era toy line. “The term I used at the time was ‘stupid idea,’ if I remember right,” Bay said. But after visiting Hasbro and learning about the characters and cosmic mythology that had been created around them, Bay began to warm up to the idea.
Now, the franchise is the centrepiece of Bay’s 15-year filmmaking career. Though he has no expectation that he will make a fourth Transformers film.