Following the one-two punch of Transformers and its so-so sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, question marks have been raised over Michael Bay’s involvement in the series. To his credit, the director returned to the helm every time, resulting in an additional two blockbusters – namely Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction – and a huge box office return, but there was a time just prior to Transformers: The Last Knight when Bay seriously considered walking away from the franchise for good.
What’s the one thing that caused the prolific filmmaker to pull a U-turn? Paramount’s decision to establish a writers room for The Last Knight and beyond, and Michael Bay has spoken in the past about how that pool of talent has given the Transformers series a new lease of life. But in a new interview with ComicBook, Bay pinpointed the ways in which that writers room fleshed out the mythos of Paramount’s blockbuster flagship, and why he and Steven Spielberg – a long-time executive producer on the TF juggernaut – gravitated toward one pitch in particular.
“I was going to walk away from this franchise. I proposed to Paramount, I said listen, ‘Every time we do one of these movies we have to roll the rock back up the hill and we need a real writers room,’ and so we had 14 great writers; we put them through Transformers school; we locked them in a room for about a month at Paramount with 10,000 images from the franchise surrounded by props and life-size Bumblebee, it just stared them in the face. They came up with a complete bible from the beginning of time until way deep into history and came up with great stories.
“(Steven) Spielberg and I gravitated to two stories and put them together. The guy who wrote Black Hawk Down (Ken Nolan) is the guy who wrote this with two guys that wrote the first Iron Man (Art Marcum and Matt Holloway) and it feels very fresh.”
The series veteran then went on to discuss his approach to filming Transformers: The Last Knight, and why he tends to side with real-3D, as opposed to shooting on a regular camera and implementing the 3D effect through some form of post-conversion process.
“We are the only movie this year to shoot in real-3D, which is sad,” Bay said. “Studios are basically killing 3D because they are forcing directors to shoot and post-convert everything. They asked me obviously to post-convert and I said, ‘No, I’ll just give you a 2D movie,’ but there are not a lot of directors that make enough box office in the world to say no. So I put my foot down and said no. I said that if we’re going to do this 3D we’re going to do something that has never been done; we’re going to take two Arri 65 cameras, strap them together and make true IMAX 3D, so this is the first time in the world you will see true, real IMAX 3D.”
Transformers: The Last Knight is expected to light up theaters on June 23rd, and there are story clues to be found on the film’s official IMAX poster, below.