Update from Michael Bay's camp, regarding the Optimus Prime pic!!
Published at: July 13, 2006, 11:08 p.m. CST by staff
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. The fan response to the Optimus Prime photo posted a couple days ago was massive. Considering the photo was live for only a few hours, the amount of talkback, emails and all around buzz around the internet just goes to show how big of a fan following this film has.
Michael Bay has an official site (CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE SITE) and forum there where he can talk directly to fans. The forums went a little nuts when the pic hit. I was told there was going to be some sort of official statement by Bay on this site by readers of the forums and while that hasn't happened yet, his moderator "Nelson" posted a little update that confirms the picture as real, but kind of skirts around most of the other issues. Here's the post:
Spoke to Bay this morning...
...as I said, he will post later on later regarding the designs (when I say later it could mean tonight or in a couple of days).
Among some of the stuff:
-They (Bay & Co.) are commited to maintaining total secrecy about this project until it hits the screen. We spoke of how there was no surprise factor to Peter Jackson's King Kong. You knew the whole movie ahead of time. There are some in the team who believe the audience's first peak of the robots in their normal mode should be when they sit down to watch the movie in the theater (in other words, no sneak peak of them in their normal mode in the trailers).
-Bay & crew are well aware of sites putting out BS info in orded to elicit a response from Bay & Co.
-The reasons why they went with a huge long nose truck for OP (BTW, regarding the flames, there is a context for them like Orci pointed out). Bay said they did test with flat noses (FN) for scale purposes, and the FN would only be about 20 to 25 feet tall, so they went with the biggest truck they could find: the Peterbilt. We're talking 40 to 50 foot tall robots here. The physics for these robots have to be real...aka no magically disappearing parts. Also, OP is going to have much more red than what was shown in the supposedly "leaked" photo.
-Regarding the designers... all I can say is he said they all had to be fans of the show in order to get their jobs.
-Regarding the Ludacris rumor...no, he does not have a part in TF.
"Supposedly leaked" yet still confirms the long nose and flames... and they certainly had a fit when they saw it was on this site... Strangely enough, I agree with the physics explanation, which is why I didn't freak out too bad at the long nose. I want there to be a certain degree of reality with these guys.
I also agree, to a certain degree, about KING KONG. I would have loved for them to have only hinted at KONG in the advertising and waited for the movie for us to have gotten our first, clean look at him. However, Peter Jackson had no need to prove himself to the fanbase when he made KONG. Overall, people trusted his vision of the movie icon. Bay doesn't have that luxury with the fans of TRANSFORMERS.
I really want to see Bay make his real deal statement. He can choose not to reveal one thing to the fans before the movie rolls next summer. That's his choice. The benefit of audience surprise is certainly something to consider, but he also needs to consider the negative impact of not doing anything to ease the rabid fan base's worries. The seeds of TRANSFORMERS success has to be planted now. If he's going to change up a character design, he has to show us why he's doing it. Make us understand his thought process, even if we don't agree with it. He can't just sit back and let this blow over.
The most vocal talkbackers, forum members, website owners, etc, desperately want to be supporters of a live action TRANSFORMERS movie. Unfortunately, what they are seeing doesn't work for them and if that's all they see, you'll feel the bite next summer. Non geeks will go see this because it's a huge event movie, but the geeks will be the ones that give it legs, that will come back over and over again, bringing their friends, family, etc. They're also the ones that can taint this movie with negative buzz a year out, like what's going on here.
Bay has been very kind to me in giving me access to this film. He seemed to genuinely want to speak to the fans and assure them that he has their interests at heart and will do them proud. I hope he still has that point of view now that the fans have disagreed with one of his decisions. I want him to make a badass, huge popcorny fun big budget TRANSFORMERS movie. He's certainly on the right road from what I have personally seen. I'd hate to see him stumble by messing up the details or at least messing up the way he deals with the fans.
Anyway, I'll keep an eye on Bay's message board and my ear to the tracks with my sources within Dreamworks and Paramount. Hopefully Bay himself will speak out soon and hopefully he'll have something good to say.