Is there more to ‘Transformers’ than just robots punching each other in their robot faces? We present 10 mind-blowing facts, easter eggs and in-jokes from the 'Transformers’ universe that’ll give you new-found respect for Michael Bay…
Megan Fox wasn’t told about this scene
Megan Fox – she of the impossibly bendy body – had a good idea Michael Bay was using her for eye-candy by the time it came to shoot 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’, but even she was surprised by the finished film. For the iconic shot of Fox sprawled over her motorbike, the actress was told she was being shot from the front. “I’m bent over airbrushing the bike, and I’m wearing these really short shorts,” said Fox. “I thought I was performing the scene with the camera on my face, but [Bay] had a multiple camera going that was on a dolly, sliding in and out from behind me. My dialogue isn’t even on camera!” No surprise from the man who made Fox wash his car for her audition tape.
The Star Trek Episode
In 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’, Decepticons Brains and Wheelie are caught watching an old 1967 episode of 'Star Trek’ called 'Amok Time’. “It’s the one where Spock goes nuts,” they claim. This is a clever bit of foreshadowing that hints at the Autobots’ eventual betrayal at the hands of Sentinel Prime, voiced by Leonard Nimoy, who does, in fact, go nuts.
Michael Bay is all over the 'Transformers’ franchise – not only has he directed all four movies to date, he’s cameod in some of them too (he’s the human that Megatron flicks out of the way in the first movie and the truck driver on the bridge in 'Age Of Extinction’). There are tonnes of other Bay-related easter eggs in the movies too: the platform that Megatron stands on in the Hoover Dam in 'Transformers’ says 'Bay Foundry’ on it; the Constructicon freighter is named the 'USS Bayos’; even Megan Fox’s character’s name originated from her director – 'Mikaela Banes’ is basically just a female 'Michael Bay’.
The Bad Boys 2 poster
Look closely in the scene at Sam’s college and you’ll see that on the wall of his dorm room is a poster for 'Bad Boys II’, a Michael Bay movie.
The Transformers 3 plot is teased in Part 2
Pause at just the right moment during the epic 'Operation Firestorm’ action sequence in 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ and you’ll notice that in the scene where Skids and Mudflap cling to a pipe, there’s a split-second where a newspaper article sticks to it. The obscured headline reads “MYSTERIOUS ROBOT SPOTTED” and the image is of Decepticon Shockwave, looking a lot like he ended up looking when he appeared in 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’ a couple of years later.
No-one says ‘Transformers’ in ‘Transformers
In the tradition of zombie movies never referring to their undead as “zombies”, no one actually refers to either the Autobots or the Decepticons as “transformers” in the first 'Transformers’ movie. The only time the word is uttered is when Sam’s dad, Ron Witwicky says the line “We got a blown transformer,” referring to a power cut.
The Terminator diss
Cast your mind way back to 2009 and you may remember an entertaining 'beef’ between 'Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ director Michael Bay and 'Terminator Salvation’ director McG. It all got very childish very fast: Bay accused McG of copying 'Transformers’ and McG later challenged Bay to a d*ck-measuring contest (“Michael Bay has a big c**k,” he said, “But I’d like to believe mine is bigger”). Anyway, Bay got the last laugh, not just because his movie made £277 million more than his rival’s, but because he snuck an Easter egg diss into 'Revenge Of The Fallen’. When a Decepticon lies slumped and defeated in Egypt, you can see the model number T-1000 on his arm cannon – a sly dig at the 'Terminator’ franchise and its lack of firepower.
The 'Transformers’ franchise has never been one for continuity - wouldn’t, like, a million people have seen the gigantic city-wide destructive brawl at the end of the first movie? - but 'Age Of Extinction’ does at least offer a nod to past adventures. As Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager drives his pick-up through a farm you’ll note the billboard that says “REMEMBER CHICAGO” on it, referencing the rather spectacular flattening of the Windy City in 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’. It even had a real toll-free number on it which eagle-eyed spotters could call to report alien activity.
A weird crossover
There’s more to Alan Tudyk’s 'Dark Of The Moon’ character Dutch than meets the eye. The actor decided that the character, a valet to Agent Simmons with a murky past, was actually the same guy he played in 2000’s rehab drama '28 Days’ - a gay German performance artist named Gerhadt. “I decided it’s the same guy,” says Tudyk. “He had gotten out of rehab, got himself on the right track… entered the army, became a specialist, found that he had skills in computers and weapons. Then he burned out after too much killing. There’s a moment where he just goes crazy, and I say 'That’s the old me’ and that was all based on that bullsh*t idea that it was the same guy.”
The VW Beetle insult
When it came to bringing Bumblebee to life, Michael Bay wanted to avoid comparisons with Herbie, so he changed the Autobot’s alt-mode vehicle from a Volkswagen Beetle to a Chevrolet Camaro. However, as a tribute to the original automobile, a familiar looking yellow Beetle can be seen next to the new and improved version in Bernie Mac’s chop shop, which Bumblebee promptly smashes. Did we say tribute? We meant insult.