Why Michael Bay fired Megan Fox from the Transformers franchise?
It became clear that Paramount intended on taking its Transformers franchise in a new, far more subtle direction. That is from the moment the trailer for 2018’s Bumblebee dropped. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the trailer leaves the Michael Bay – isms of the previous installments. But offers senses of earnestness. The critics overwhelmingly supported of this more contained approach to a Transformers movie. But they forget that the Bay days won’t be easy — just ask Megan Fox.
The model/actress played Mikaela Banes in 2007’s Transformers. And also in the first sequel in the long-running franchise. The 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The next year, Bay fired her. And replaced her with inexperienced British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (via The Guardian). The war of words that followed did irreversible damage to Fox’s reputation. Thus her career suffered as a result. She was still capable to make a living as an actress, but her days on the A-list were over.
Fox was being praised as the new Angelina Jolie at the time (via The Telegraph). Even though her stock fell dramatically. Because of the wake of her very public removal from the Transformers franchise. But what really happened behind the scenes? Did Fox really deserve to go, or was she treated harshly by Hollywood? Here are the real reasons she was fired.
She compared the director to Adolf Hitler
Ask your film fans why they fired Megan Fox from the Transformers franchise. They’ll surely tell you it’s because of Hitler. While it’s might be correct. There was a lot more than just Fox’s ill-fated interview with Wonderland magazine in 2009. But her words were surely a huge factor. Asked what she thinks about working with Transformers director Michael Bay. But Fox didn’t hold back.
Fox said that the director is like Napoleon. And that he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. She continues to say that Bay wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. As if equating Bay to the infamous Nazi dictator and mass murderer wasn’t enough. Fox then went on to tell that the director routinely put her and Shia LaBeouf in danger on the set. She claimed that Shia and she almost die when they make a Transformers movie. According to Megan, Bay will have you do some really insane things that insurance would never let you do.
Fox did try to cool down by saying that Bay is awkward and lacking social skills to be “endearing” at times. But she couldn’t emphasize enough how terrible Bay was to work with. She said that he’s vulnerable and fragile in real life and then on set he’s a tyrant.
Did Steven Spielberg make Michael Bay fire Megan?
Megan Fox’s comments surely caused quite the stir. Even forcing Michael Bay and Paramount to respond. While the studio’s answer was to ties with the actress. Bay decided that he would reply to Fox’s interview himself. In a GQ exclusive, the director doubts his former leading lady’s devotion to the franchise. But the biggest reveal was that producer Steven Spielberg actually requested her firing.
Bay told the men’s mag that Fox was in a different world, on her BlackBerry. He said that peoples gotta stay focused. Because after the Hitler thing, Steven [Spielberg] said, ‘Fire her right now.’ The fact that Spielberg had been the one to command that made just as many headlines as the Hitler comments. Even though the veteran director later denied any involvement.
In 2011, When the Schindler’s List director spoke with Entertainment Weekly. The magazine asked if there was any truth to Bay’s version of events, and he quickly set the record straight. Spielberg insisted “That’s not true,” while shaking his head as he answered. That indeed didn’t happen. No one person has ever claimed the responsibility for Fox’s removal. But Deadline’s sources at Paramount told the Hollywood trade the truth. That it was only just Bay’s decision.
Michael Bay accused Megan of being lazy
If Steven Spielberg didn’t fire her because of her Hitler comments. Was there another reason for fired Megan Fox? According to Michael Bay and some certain members of the Transformers cast and crew. There were, in fact, many reasons. And then when he put his side of the story across via GQ. Bay admitted that he wasn’t actually offended by the Hitler comparison. But he did go on to call Fox out for being lazy, implying that she didn’t have the stomach for Hollywood.
Bay said that he wasn’t hurt, because he knows that’s just Megan. He then continues to say that Megan loves to get a response. And she does it in sort of the wrong way. With a sarcastic tone, he said that he’s sorry to make her work twelve hours. He’s sorry that he’s making her show up on time. He even said that Movies are not always warm and fuzzy. Fox’s co-star Shia LaBeouf said the same when he spoke to Hero Complex (per IndieWire). He claimed that the director was just doing his job and Fox needed to grow a thicker skin.
LaBeouf said that When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. He said that they’re on the run, and the one thing Mike lacks is tact, there’s no time for gentle guides. The actor’s comments indeed didn’t go over very well with IndieWire. Who claimed that LaBeouf is oblivious, uneducated and unpleasant.
Fox was never “comfortable” with Michael Bay’s style
Shia LaBeouf’s “fluffy talk” comment was properly the most sexist thing he said during his Hero Complex interview (via IndieWire). But in truth, the young actor came out with tons of offensive comments that day. LaBeouf (who starred as Sam Witwicky in the first three Transformers movies) made it very clear which side he’d taken. LaBeouf said that Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality. He continues to say that it’s summer, it’s Michael’s style, and he thinks [Fox] never got comfortable with it. He even said that Megan is a girl who’s taken from complete obscurity. Then placed in a sex-driven role in front of the entire world and told she was the sexiest woman in America. And that she’s struggling to accept it.
LaBeouf essentially revealed that Fox was only in the Transformers movies as eye candy. Which made even more obvious when an unknown British model replaced her. The Guardian pointed out that Rosie had no acting experience when she landed a starring role in 2011’s Transformers 2. Because modeling experience mattered more. LaBeouf explained that Rosie comes with this Victoria’s Secret setting. And that she’s comfortable with it. Therefore she can get down with Mike’s way of working and it makes the whole set vibe very different.
Fox went against the captain
Shia LaBeouf’s Hero Complex interview (via IndieWire) may have been full of questionable opinions on women in film. He even called Rosie Huntington – Whiteley’s character a “maternal, loving type”. Who he thought was more into the “domestic, eggs-in-the-morning kind of a thing. But he was actually way more critical of Fox when he spoke to GQ about her Hitler comments. LaBeouf said that criticism is one thing. Then there’s public name-calling, which later turns into high school bashing, which you can’t do. He even said that Megan started trash-talking his captain.
Ironically, LaBeouf would soon then become guilty of the exact same thing. In 2016, the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull star told that he hated working with Steven Spielberg. He suggested that the Hollywood great -Steven Spielberg- had lost his touch. LaBeouf told Variety that he’s not meeting the Spielberg he dreams of. And that he’s meeting a different Spielberg, who is in a different stage in his career. He even said that Steven Spielberg is less of a director than a bad company.
LaBeouf admitted that the only movie he made with Spielberg that he actually liked was the first Transformers movie. But then, a few years later, he was bashing the Transformers franchise, too. LaBeouf told Esquire in 2018 that his hang-up with those films was that they felt irrelevant. He even said that he felt very dated. And that it’s very hard to keep doing what you’re doing when it’s the antithesis of your own existence. Hypocrisy?
Fox didn’t know anything about the Transformers!
If the star of the movie doesn’t understand anything. Then how are audiences meant to understand it? This thought slipped Megan Fox’s mind when CBS‘s Harry Smith interviewed her. Which is also during the promotional run for 2009’s Revenge of the Fallen. Assuming that watching the sequel in IMAX might give you a migraine or even a brain aneurysm. Fox then admitted that she had no clue what the film was even about.
She said that she’s involved in everything of the movie, and yet, she still didn’t know what was happening. She also said that whoever hasn’t read the script but understands the movie, and then they may be a genius. Fox also gave viewers mixed messages when she said that people are well aware this is not a movie about acting.
Quite understandably, Michael Bay wasn’t too pleased with her less-than-ringing words. The highly outspoken filmmaker reply with some comments of his own after aware of Fox’s words. Bay replied (via Cosmopolitan) that exactly how he thinks Megan would think and say. He evens said that Megan says some very ridiculous things because she still has a lot of growing to do. And that you’ll roll your eyes when you see statements like that and agree with her for the sake of peace.
Megan didn’t want to be there
It wasn’t just Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf that jabbered to GQ about Fox’s attitude on set. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger told the magazine that by the end Megan Fox was only there in body, not in spirit. Kruger explained that she was there for rehearsals, but she seemed like didn’t want to be a part of it. He said that she was saying she wanted to [be there], but she wasn’t acting like it.
The general consensus among the cast and crew was that Fox ought to have been more thankful for the opportunity. And that nobody held that opinion more firmly than the director himself. After hearing that Fox talked bad about his Transformers movies in the media. Bay reeled off a list of actors whose careers he declares to have launched.
Bay said (by Cosmopolitan) that Nic Cage wasn’t a big actor when Bay cast him. Nor was Ben Affleck before Bay put him in Armageddon. He said that Shia LaBeouf wasn’t a big movie star before he did Transformers, and then he exploded. Not to mention Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, from the movie Bad Boys. Nobody in the world knew about Megan Fox until Bay found her and put her in Transformers. Bay even said that he likes to think that he’s had some luck in building actors’ careers with his films.
By his standards, Michael Bay was properly restrained when discussing his rocky relationship with Megan Fox. But the same cannot be said for the Transformers crews, who react way more aggressive. Responding to Fox’s inflammatory Hitler comments. Three members of Bay’s long-time crew released an open letter to trashing the actress. The letter went way beyond comprehension. They’re comparing Fox to a “porn star,” an “unfriendly b***h,” and “dumb-as-a-rock.”
The letter read (by Deadline) that Megan’s as about ungracious a person as you can ever fathom. She shows little attention to the crew members around her. We work to make her look good in every way, but she’s certainly never appreciative of anyone’s hard work. Never a single thank you. All the crew members have stopped saying ‘hi’ to her because she never says hello back. Yikes! It seems as though Fox didn’t have many friends on set, but was this letter really actually called for? According to Bay, it wasn’t actually.
The director Replied a statement of his own. Which says that he couldn’t condone the crew’s scathing open letter. But he said that he also couldn’t he condone Fox’s “outlandish” quotes. Bay said (via Deadline) that her crazy quips are part of her crazy charm. And the fact of the matter [is] he still loves working with her, and he knows they still get along. He even said that he expected more crazy quotes from her on Transformers 3. But of course, Fox never made it to Transformers 3.
Did Michael Bay orchestrate this letter?
Michael Bay might have spoken out (via Deadline) against the hateful letter delivered by the Transformers crew. But there are those who think that the director actually planned the whole thing. The fact that the letter came via Bay’s own website actually raised a few eyebrows. And according to the Daily Beast, we were able to confirm that Bay “enlisted” the crew members in question.
The article alleges that Michael Bay degraded Megan Fox. Then he tried to sabotage her career. It even said that as Hollywood reckons with the unchecked misogyny. That has cost many actresses their careers. Michael Bay’s treatment of a young Megan Fox deserves extra investigation. The Daily Beast’s research into the pair’s professional relationship. And it stretches back to the first time they worked together. And it doesn’t make much good reading for fans of Bay.
Fox said during a 2009 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live that she had just turned 15 and she was an extra in Bad Boys II. He allowed it, and someone tells Bay that she’s 15 so you can’t sit here at the bar. Also, she can’t have a drink in her hand. So his solution to that problem. Was, in fact, to have her dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet. And that is when she was 15, 10th grade. So that’s kinda a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works.
Our actress refused to apologize
When Megan Fox’s departing from the Transformers franchise became official. Her team stated that she left on her own term. A spokesperson for the actress said that It was her decision. Which is not to return and she wishes the franchise the best. This is opposite to Deadline’s Nikki Finke story. Finke is the reporter who discovered that Fox wouldn’t be returning as Mikaela Banes. Finke said that this new statement from Megan Fox’s PR. Is indeed, flack about Megan in Transformers 3 is absolutely untrue. She even said that she stands by her scoop that Paramount and Michael Bay kicked Megan to the curb. They did all of that by not picking up Megan’s option to do the threequel.
Fox later admitted that she did get booted off the franchise. Which opening up an episode during her 2017 interview with Cosmopolitan. She told the magazine that it was absolutely the low point of her career. But without ‘that thing’ she wouldn’t have learned as fast as she did. Life in Hollywood taught the young actress a harsh lesson. Which is after she allowed stubbornness to consume her. She revealed that all she had to do was apologize, and she refused. She said that she was so self-righteous at 23, she couldn’t see [that] it was for the greater good. She admits that she really thought she was Joan of Arc.
This girl grows spiritually
Things got really hard for Fox after Michael Bay fired her in 2010. That same year she set out to show that she could still front a big movie with Jonah Hex. But the comic book adaptation was a super-sized flop, ripped apart by critics. It has a super low 12 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And also just $11 million worldwide on a reported $47 million production budget. This followed 2009’s Jennifer’s Body, which barely cut even domestically.
Fox still managed to find work in the years that followed but she’s no longer in the A-list. That forced her to pick up supporting parts in movies like rom-con ensemble Friends with Kids. And Judd Apatow’sThis is 40. Apatow and Michael Bay are of course on different levels. Yet Fox’s body was still used as a selling point by the said studio (via IndieWire).
It was a dark time for the actress, but when she realizes she is the reason, she was finally able to move forward. Fox told Cosmopolitan that the darkness descended caused enormous and brisk spiritual growth. And once she realized she [had] brought it on herself. It was an invaluable learning experience and she was looking back on it.
Fox and Bay are now BFFs
In 2013, Megan Fox’s feud with Michael Bay officially ended for good. At the time when he cast her as reporter April O’Neil in Paramount’s live-action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Bay, a producer on the project, confirmed in a blog post that he’s bringing Megan Fox back into the family. Their reunion proved to be a profitable one. 2014’s TMNT was able to make almost half a billion dollars worldwide. However, the 2016 sequel Out of the Shadows only managed half of that amount. But the cost is $135 million dollars before marketing. That return represented nothing but a failure.
According to Variety, the studio began producing the third installment in June 2018. But this time with Bay back as producer. It’s unknown whether or not Fox will be returning (Some peoples described it as another reboot). But even if she doesn’t, then she still remains in a good place with her former Transformers boss. In fact, in 2018’s episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen she revealed that the pair had become “BFFs”. That is after she reaches out to him to apologize.
Fox said that she was young when a lot of that was happening, and she was really self-righteous in her anger. And that she thought she was right to speak the way that she spoke. But now as she got a little older. She understood whatever her issues were; they should always have remained private. Fox also said that you should never blast someone like that in public. So it seems all is well that ends well, for now.