In the most senseless violence involving Michael Bay to happen outside of a Michael Bay movie, the director was attacked on the Hong Kong set of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, by a pair of brothers who approached him demanding money. According to the Reuters report, and not the script for a Michael Bay action movie, two siblings, aged 27 and 28, cornered Bay and claimed he owed them HK$100,000, or $12,000 in U.S. currency. Despite this being only about a sixth of the average Michael Bay film’s sex toy budget, Bay refused to pay, prompting the older brother to assault Bay, as well as the three police officers who intervened. Bay reportedly sustained injuries to the right side of his face, but declined to go to the hospital for treatment. (“Pussies do that,” he said, one can only assume.)
Both brothers, as well as a third man who was somehow involved at the scene, were arrested and charged with suspicion of assault. The younger brother was also charged with suspicion of blackmail, with the BBC quoting local news agencies in speculating that he may have been seeking “disturbance fees” of the sort the production had paid to local businesses, for the general disturbance of putting large robots and Mark Wahlbergs in their vicinity. (Meanwhile, Wahlberg has yet to explain how he could have prevented this.) “Now gentlemen, there’s never need for violence. Surely we can settle our differences using our words,” Michael Bay presumably said.
UPDATE: Paramount has just released a statement that attempts to clarify what happened by adding yet another angle and even more confusing action, in the typical Michael Bay style:
Contrary to several erroneous news reports made today, Bay did not get hurt in a fight on set. The production company did have a bizarre encounter with a man (allegedly under the influence of a narcotic substance) who was wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon. The man, who had earlier accosted several other crew members, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air conditioning unit directly at Bay’s head. The director ducked and wrested the air conditioner from his attacker, preventing what could have been a serious accident. The company’s security team quickly stepped in and subdued the assault. The police, who also scuffled with the assailant and two of his companions, ultimately arrested the three men. No one on the cast or crew was injured and the production immediately resumed filming without further incident.
It seems Michael Bay’s many years of preparing for ducking large machines finally paid off.
SECOND UPDATE: As Michael Bay is nothing if not a stickler for clarity, the director himself has now weighed in on his brush with non-CGIed fast-moving hardware, taking to his blog to explain what he’s calling—with the ominous understatement of all great actioners—the “Hong Kong Incident.” Like so many of Bay’s movies, it’s crammed with details, ludicrous fight sequences, and even references to other films:
Yes, the story is being passed around is not all true! Yes, some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours in the morning of our first shoot day in Hong Kong. One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks.
Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. I personally told this man and his friends to forget it we were not going to let him extort us. He didn’t like that answer. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away. That’s when the security jumped on him. But it took seven big guys to subdue him.
It was like a Zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie World War Z—he lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved. Then it took fifteen Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with these punks. In all, four guys were arrested for assaulting the officers.
Yes, even Michael Bay’s public statements have gratuitous product placement.