Michael Bay and Paramount on Transformers 4 set incident
There's been problems on the set of Transformers 4 in Hong Kong, and official statements have clarified the matter.
Last night, a story broke on Reuters which suggested that director Michael Bay had been the victim of an assault on the set of the currently-shooting Transformers 4. The production is currently in Hong Kong, and the story ran that the director was assaulted by two men demanding HK$100,000, which amounts to a little under $13,000 US. When he refused, he was assaulted on the street in Hong Kong, and his assailants furthermore attacked police officers as they tried to make their escape.
Or did they? Paramount has subsequently released an official statement denying this order of events, although clearly something not particularly pleasant took place.
The studio's statement reads thus:
"Contrary to several erroneous news reports made today, Bay did not get hurt in a fight on set. The production company did have a bizarre encounter with a man (allegedly under the influence of a narcotic substance) who was wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon. The man, who had earlier accosted several other crew members, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air conditioning unit directly at Bay’s head. The director ducked and wrested the air conditioner from his attacker, preventing what could have been a serious accident. The company’s security team quickly stepped in and subdued the assault. The police, who also scuffled with the assailant and two of his companions, ultimately arrested the three men. No one on the cast or crew was injured and the production immediately resumed filming without further incident".
And Michael Bay too has now commented on the matter. On his website, he wrote:
"Yes, the story is being passed around is not all true! Yes, some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours in the morning of our first shoot day in Hong Kong. One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks.
Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us. He didn’t like that answer. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z - he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved.
Then it took fifteen Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with these punks. In all, four guys were arrested for assaulting the officers.
After that, we had a great day shooting here in Hong Kong".
The consummate pro, Mr Bay. Even in his statement, he manages to get a bit of Nike product placement in.
Transformers 4 continues to shoot ahead of its release next summer.
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