All signs point to Transformers: The Last Knight being absolutely bonkers. And that's saying something for a Michael Bay Transformers movie. But backlash over Nazi imagery used in a UK shoot has prompted the director to respond.
The fifth installment of the franchise is looking like a it will include a time-travel adventure. While Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, and Stanley Tucci are set to return, The Last Knight is also said to include King Arthur and Merlin and now…Nazis and Hitler.
The Sun was first to report on the film's use of UK's Blenheim Palace covered with Nazi imagery. Blenheim was where Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister during World War II, was born.
“Actors dressed as storm troopers from the Fuhrer”s feared SS strutted up the entrance steps,” The Sun wrote. “Close by were a Panzer tank, a German anti-aircraft gun, Mercedes staff cars and ammo boxes stamped with eagle emblems. Blenheim Palace would not confirm whether it knew the nature of the script beforehand but film insiders said it was 'inconceivable' that it would be kept in the dark.”
This type of thing obviously isn't outside the realm of productions. Hitler and the Nazis have been used in countless fictional works from Indiana Jones to Doctor Who, but Veteran”s Association UK and others expressed their anger with this situation considering the specifics.
Bay spoke to the BBC about it (even though the BBC wasn't going to bring it up, apparently) basically saying everyone should just wait to see the movie.
“There's a thing I saw in the paper today about Blenheim and 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,” he told them. “And Churchill would be smiling about last night.”
Bay probably could have helped ease concerns by digitally placing swastikas on the building instead of actual flags waving for all to see but he was insistent everything would be OK in the end. When asked about the actual concerns about how everything was being portrayed Bay repeated, “Well they haven't seen the movie, they don't know the ending, and they don't know how Churchill is a hero of this movie.”
When asked once more about how many felt it was disrespectful to put Nazis on Churchill's birthplace the Pearl Harbor director reiterated, “Well, when you see the movie you'll understand and I'm for one, probably more than any director in the world, shot more veterans and more active military men and women in my movies. And you can actually look it up. Ok? I would do nothing to disrespect veterans.”