Michael Bay has spent half a decade working solely on huge action movies about alien robots who transmogrify into
product placement cool cars, with only the occasional break to focus on artsy stuff. But the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon will apparently be his last go-round with the franchise. So it’s not surprising that, at the end of this long strange trip, Bay is feeling a little bit more contemplative than usual. In a freewheeling interview with Collider, Bay talks excitedly about a whole host of topics. Main point of interest: Bay speaks openly about some of the problems that derailed the second film in the franchise (which, if memory serves, was subtitled Return of the Revenge of the Rise of the Fallen). “On the second movie we got burned,” says Bay. Noting the quickened pace of pre-production due to the writers’ strike, Bay notes, “We had to agree on a story in three weeks, and then we knew they were going on strike. It was a f—ed scenario all the way around. It wasn’t fair to the writer, it wasn’t fair to me, and it wasn’t fair to anybody.” The director does insist, “it was still an entertaining movie,” but he also admits, “I think we failed on certain aspects.”
Bay claims that they’re taking the lessons learned on Fallen to heart: “I got rid of the dorky comedy,” he says, which is presumably code for “No more minstrel-bots.” Admittedly, Bay doesn’t blame himself for Fallen‘s failures — it’s a bit strange to hear a director whose budgets regularly top $150 million to say the words “it wasn’t fair to me” — but even so, it’s interesting to see the Patron Saint of Onscreen Badassery admit that mistakes were made in his most recent movie. As far as mea culpas go, it’s no “Wahlberg Hates Happening,” but we’ll take it. (Please, though, no more Robot Heaven.)
PopWatchers, does hearing Bay point out problems with Revenge of the Fallen make you more excited for Dark of the Moon? Is he being too hard on himself? Should we all just start blaming the Writers’ Strike for everything that’s gone wrong in the last few years?
Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich