When we woke up this morning, a story was circulating that an attempt was made to extort Michael Bay on the set of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” while shooting in Hong Kong. But it all seemed to be resolved. Everyone was safe, and so we made a cup of tea and got on with our day. But then Michael Bay and the studio weighed in, and suddenly, this brief criminal blip became worthy of a movie itself. Inspiration for “More Pain & More Gain“?
So, the original story went that Bay “suffered injuries to the face” in an altercation where he was confronted while on set by some thugs demanding HK$100,000 ($12,900) and threatening “inconvenience” if he didn’t pay up. This version of events was later amended by the studio, with Bay emerging as the survivor of an air-conditioner attack.
“…. 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 studio statement/script read. “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.”
Why the incident needed to be described like a crime novella by the studio isn’t quite clear, but now Michael Bay himself has added even more drama to the story that won’t stay (un)dead. “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,” he wrote on his blog. “It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie ‘World War Z‘—he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them.”
And then the story gets even wilder. Here’s the rest of Bay’s account:
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.
So it ultimately all ended well, and we’re glad no one was hurt. And now Michael Bay can get back to “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which he will swing at your face next summer on June 27th.