'No goofiness' in Transformers 4, says Michael Bay
We’ve seen a rejigged Optimus Prime and the promise of some Dinobot action, and Michael Bay tells Yahoo that 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' will also be an altogether “more cinematic” movie than the ones that have come before.
“I wanted the first Transformers to be very suburban and less cool,” Bay told us from the Detroit set of this fourth chapter. “This is a much more cinematic one. I focused on keeping this one slick. There won’t be any goofiness in this one. We went a bit too goofy [on the last one].”
But despite Optimus’s updated design, Bay is quick to point out that this really is the fourth in an ongoing series – “reboot” is a dirty word here. “It feels like a new chapter, this movie,” he says. “But it’s not a reboot. This movie lives in the history of the 'Transformers' movies, and this one starts three years after the last. It feels fresh.”
Yahoo is navigating a maze of debris in a mocked-up version of Hong Kong as Bay rushes around the set, directing shots and acting as our tour guide. We’re pieces to be moved on the director’s chessboard - as with the rest of the crew, we go exactly where he tells us and he makes sure we have more than we could need.
Few directors have this level of control, and you get the sense that nothing happens on a Michael Bay set without him knowing about it.
We start by his personal monitor, where a small metal model of Bumblebee’s head sits standing guard. Immediately, Bay cues up five or six explosive shots taken earlier from the scene being shot on this set - the film’s last stand battle.
“I do big setups,” he says, with some understatement. “I like to do ‘runners’, where [the cameras are] with the characters in the war. We’re in the thick of it with Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci, and we’ve got all these things going off.”
The human cast totally replaces the first trilogy’s top-liners, and Bay leads us to a Chinese noodle shop, where a giant monitor has been erected, to show us 15 minutes of character and action culled from the first month of shooting.