Guys, this has been a crazy couple of days for Michael Bay‘s Transformers: The Last Knight. Let’s get the least insane things out of the way: the movie will feature the return of Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, starring alongside returning cast members Stanley Tucci, Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel, and newcomers Anthony Hopkins and Isabela Moner; Liam Garrigan will appear as King Arthur; Dinobots; Mini-Dinobots; and the World’s Loneliest Dog Freya will have an on-screen role.
Okay now for the more insane things: Bay’s production recently stirred up some controversy when the set moved to Sir Winston Churchill‘s former home of Blenheim Palace, draped it with massive Swastika-bearing flags, parked Nazi vehicles on its grounds, and flooded the area with SS soldiers. Initially, some veterans’ groups and former military commanders took offense, but it wasn’t until one of them mentioned “Churchill turning over in his grave” that Bay himself provided a response:
“I just want to say, people were not fortunate enough to read the script, and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero. And Churchill would be smiling about Last Knight. They haven’t seen the movie, they don’t know the ending, and they don’t know how Churchill is a hero in this movie. So, as the staff said, ‘He’d be smiling right now.’”
While I’d love to read some fan-fic of Zombie Churchill attending a premiere screening of Transformers: The Last Knight, I can’t imagine that Bay could predict how the late world leader would have reacted. Perhaps someone with more insight into Churchill would be a better source, someone like his grandson Nicholas Soames. In speaking to The Guardian, the Conservative MP for Mid Sussex called the media controversy “a completely manufactured row” and “absolutely the most dismal, idiotic story I’ve ever read.” Some sites have reported this statement as being in defense of Bay’s production, but for me it rings much more clearly as a takedown of sensationalist media.
Take this next quote:
“They do as all newspapers do. They go until they can find some wretched veteran who is prepared to say, ‘Winston would be turning into his grave.’ They’ve no idea what my grandfather would have thought!”
And in response to that same sentiment about his grandfather, Soames continued:
“It’s preposterous. Why can’t they make a film at Blenheim 75 years after [the war ended]? It’s absurd. That’s all I have to say; it’s pathetic.”
So while it’s a stretch to say that Soames is defending the draping of Nazi paraphernalia over his grandfather’s former home, he’s certainly more concerned with media drumming up controversy than he is with the nonsense that promises to be Transformers: The Last Knight.
Which insane aspect of the Paramount Pictures/Hasbro production are you most looking forward to: Nazis? Hitler vs Churchill? King Arthur? Dinobots? Mini-Dinobots? Freya the Lonely Dog? Stanley “The Tucc” Tucci? Cade Yeager? Or maybe just the actual battle between Autobots and Decepticons? Let us know in the comments!