Michael Bay Admits Transformers Movie Was Awful For One Huge Reason

Michael Bay says Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a bad movie because the script was rushed to beat the looming writers' strike.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

michael bay

When it comes to franchises, there’s always the chance that you’ll run into a stinker along the way. While audiences may be eager to catch stars like Pete Davidson, Anthony Ramos, and Mark Wahlberg in the upcoming feature Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, ex-franchise director Michael Bay is sharing his biggest gripes about his time with the Transformers movies. In a recent interview with Empire (via The Hollywood Reporter), the action aficionado looks back on his time crafting the second film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, knocking it down and calling it “crap” largely because of the writers’ strike.

This isn’t the first time Michael Bay has shared his utter disgust with how the second Transformers movie turned out. Each time he brings it up placing most of the blame on the writers’ strike. The filmmaker recalls a rushed creative process for him and the rest of the team, remembering that “The writers’ strike was coming hard and fast.”

Knowing that a shutdown was lingering over the horizon, he reveals that the script was pieced together in only three weeks. 

While the action flick was a box office success, raking in $836.3 million against a production budget of about $210 million, the title was largely panned by audiences and critics. Right now, Michael Bay’s second foray into the shape-shifting world of the Transformers sits on Rotten Tomatoes with an abysmal 20 percent critics rating. It’s a terribly low number for the highly anticipated second chapter in the story starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, the film would leave a mark on how Bay would shape the rest of his time at the helm of the franchise.

michael bay
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Coming back with guns a-blazin’ to give his loyal fandom the film they deserved, Michael Bay once again teamed up with a knockout cast led by Shia LaBeouf just two years after Revenge of the Fallen for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Fully engulfing audiences in an up close and personal experience, the film would launch in IMAX theaters with an immersive 3D option as well. Pulling the franchise back from the ledge, Bay and his team dropped a whopping $195 million on Dark of the Moon, proudly depositing over $1.12 billion in their bank account when all was said and done. 

With the massive success and comeback of Michael Bay’s third movie in his Transformers universe, the explosive director was given the go-ahead to round out his time in the director’s chair with Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight. While much of the call sheet changed with the final set of films, the filmmaker was still able to enlist top-tier talent to keep his stories trucking along. In 2018, he passed the baton to Travis Knight, who would direct the prequel-turned-reboot Bumblebee, still adding his name to the project as a producer.

Still finding a space for his creative vision to be seen in the now decades-spanning franchise, while Michael Bay may not be directing Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, he’s again attached to produce. With a new story to be told by some familiar and fresh faces, Michael Bay and the rest of the folks behind the billion-dollar-making movies are lucky that the fandom was willing to forgive the blunders of Transformers 2 and tune in for the next installments.