Director Michael Bay has been making feature films for 22 years now. He made his directorial debut with Bad Boys in 1995, and since then he’s given us spectacle after spectacle featuring explosions, super models, sweeping cameras and more. For the past decade, he’s been predominantly busy with the Transformers franchise, but this summer appears to be his last time behind the camera of the franchise (at least until an appealing spin-off for him to direct comes long).
For some fans, Michael Bay departing the Transformers franchise will be a welcome change. But those fans apparently didn’t know that we’ve had a genius behind these movies the whole time. That’s what Anthony Hopkins recently called Michael Bay in a recent interview, favorably comparing the Armageddon and Pain & Gain director to filmmakers like Martin Scorsese. Find out more below.
While appearing at CinemaCon over a week ago, Anthony Hopkins talked with Yahoo Movies about the first time he met Michael Bay to discuss the prospect of taking a role in Transformers: The Last Knight. Here’s the excerpt where the actor sings Michael Bay’s praises in a surprising way:
"He was telling me about the work he did on [the Transformers bots] – how he would refine them and go into the special effects guys and design them and get all the details of light on metal and all that. He told me all that at breakfast before I started on the film. I thought 'This guy's a genius. He really is.' He's the same ilk as Oliver Stone and Spielberg and Scorsese. Brilliance. Savants, really, they are. He's a savant.”
While I wouldn’t exactly nod in agreement as Anthony Hopkins calls Michael Bay genius, it’s not hard to understand what the actor is getting at, especially if you’ve ever listened to the director talk about his own movies for an extended period of time. It’s Hopkins calling Bay a savant that is more telling than the frequently flippant use of the word genius in today’s society.
Michael Bay is an efficient and detail-oriented filmmaker. The sets of Michael Bay’s movies are full of crew members who are brave enough to attempt to keep up with his fast-paced sets. Bay is a director who knows exactly what he wants, and he expects his crew to give it to him to flawlessly. That’s why you hear stories of Bay getting so worked up on the set of his movies (I’ve witnessed it myself).
When it comes to the Transformers franchise, he knows every corner of the universe he’s created for the big screen, even if he’s not exactly the most well-versed person in the full mythology of the Hasbro. And he knows exactly how he wants to shoot it, from the action blocking to the multiple camera angles. That takes a special kind of obsession and creative mind to plan something so meticulously, especially a movie on as large of a scale as a Transformers blockbuster.
So while you might not think Anthony Hopkins is right to call Michael Bay a genius, the director certainly deserves some credit for pulling off what he does, even if the stories at the center of his movies don’t make the most sense. His movies may not be the most respected or revered decades from now, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a filmmaker with such passion and vigor for over the top action and spectacle shot so carefully and efficiently.
Oh, and here’s a tease of the new Transformers trailer coming this week, featuring Anthony Hopkins himself:
Transformers: The Last Knight arrives on June 23.
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