The “Transformers” film franchise continues to be a juggernaut, somehow, at the box office and thus a fifth film is headed to the big screen this weekend. “Transformers: The Last Knight” will continue to bring the robots in disguise to life and will explore more backstory behind the titular autonomous robots involvement with planet Earth. As the movie’s release quickly approaches I took a look at ten fun facts about the film for you all to enjoy.
For this list I looked at trivia about “The Last Knight” and some of the stories behind the film. These facts included everything from the filming process to what happened off screen and even fun little tidbits that help this film standout among its predecessors. These facts were not ordered in any specific way other than to add some drama to their reveal as you scroll down. Don’t forget to check out the latest entry in the “Transformers” franchise this weekend and please let me know any fun facts you learned about the film that I might have missed on this list.
10. King Arthur Comes To Life…Again
For the second time in 2017 we will see an adaptation of King Arthur, although this time it will probably be summarized. “The Last Knight” will reportedly include a glimpse at the legend of the King. This is an interesting factoid because director Michael Bay was actually supposed to work on 2004’s “King Arthur” but backed out due to budget issues and earlier this year the epic flop “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” was released depicting a new origin story for the famed royal. The actor who will play Arthur in “The Last Knight”, Liam Garrigan, is no stranger to the King Arthur character himself. He is also known for playing the King on television as a member of the cast for “Once Upon A Time”.
9. The Return of Barricade
If you’ve watched the Transformers films from the beginning you’d know that one of the most consistent side characters of the Decepticons has been Barricade, a police cruiser who is the first Decepticon to interact directly with humans in the first film. He was absent from the second movie for no given reason, but returned for the third film and despite the fact that Barricade appeared to be destroyed in 2011’s “Dark of the Moon” it has been confirmed that Barricade will return for this new installment in an undisclosed role. He will feature a new design and a new vehicle mode according to the filmmakers, remaining a police cruiser but having a new robot mode. Jess Harnell portrayed the character in the 2007 film and Frank Welker portrayed Barricade in “Dark of the Moon”. No actor has been specified for his portrayal in the latest film.
8. A Generous Wahlberg
Apparently Mark Wahlburg is a pretty generous guy. As a returning star of the “Transformers” franchise, Wahlburg sent much of his time overseas. While there he attended St. Aidan’s Church in Northumberland, being sure to hide his identity and blend in with the crowd. He made donations to the church and was later thanked for his contribution after Reverend Father Des McGiven thanked him for his generosity. He was quoted saying “It’s great that we had him in for the service, and appreciate his generosity towards our church”. Not a bad way for Marky Mark to leave his, well, mark during his time in England.
7. Megatron Has A New Look
Megatron is back, having been reborn in the body of the man-made K.S.I. robot Galvatron during the events of “Age of Extinction”, and will carry a new look with him that calls back to another character, Cyclonus. Cyclonus was one of Megatron’s lieutenants in the 1984 “Transformers” movie. Both have horn-like appendages on their helmets and transform into Cybertornian shuttle jets, in Megatron’s case it will be a silver design. He will also feature a faceplate, which will be the horns folded inward, calling back to the Megatron from the offshoot Transformers series “Beast Machines”, which itself was a sequel to the popular television series “Beast Wars”. His helmet will also call back to his own design in the 1984 film and was originally planned for the first live-action movie. Many believed Megatron would retain the Galvatron name for the fifth film but it appears the leader of the Decepticons will, in fact, return to his real title as Megatron and rumors have spread that he and Galvatron may end up being two different entities altogether somehow.
6. One Last Time for Michael Bay
Although he has made this statement before for “Age of Extinction”, director Michael Bay said this will be his last directing job for the “Transformers” series in the foreseeable future. He will reportedly continue to be involved with future films, which are being expanded into a universe-like franchise to compete with other cinematic universes, but he will reportedly take a step back from the director’s chair unless a good story is presented to him that he feels worthy of tackling. Many were a bit surprised with Bay signed on to be the director of the fifth film as he was adamant that “Age of Extinction” was his last and while that may make it easy for naysayers to doubt his commitment to retirement from directing these films he seems pretty serious this time around. Only time will tell just how serious he really is.
5. A Fake Stonehenge
Part of “The Last Night” was shot at Stonehenge and Bay wanted to film an explosion scene on sight. However the director, who is very well known for his excessive explosion effects in all of his films, was denied the ability to film the explosion at the actual structure after he submitted an application to film the scene on location. So what did Bay do? Well he utilized money and time of course to get the shot he wanted. To make sure he could get the shot without doing it on site a fake Stonehenge was constructed and the explosion was filmed for the movie anyway. That’s determination. It’s unknown the significance of the structure in the film, but one can only assume it’s important because Stonehenge was featured in a theatrical poster for the movie.
4. Old and New Cast:
While there will be many new faces to appreciate in this fifth “Transformers” film, the movies also features some familiar characters as well from throughout the franchise, and I’m not talking about the robots. Numerous human characters will return for this sequel with Mark Wahlburg once again playing Cade Yeager from the previous film while Stanley Tucci’s Joshua Joyce also returns. Tyrese Gibson’s Robert Epps, John Turturro’s Seymour Simmons, and Josh Duhamel’s William Lennox are all back to explore the mythology of the transformers once again. So this film will feature a bit of nostalgia and contain some new aspects of the series for everyone to enjoy.
3. The Most Expensive Transformers Film To Date
With a reported $260 million budget “The Last Knight” is the priciest film so far in the “Transformers” franchise. The first movie cost $150 million ten years ago and the second film followed with a budget of $200 million. The third film cost $195 million while the fourth took in $210 million. This cost increase, and the willingness of the studio to approve it, could be connected to the $1 billion plus box office takes of the past two films meaning that “Transformers” is still a valuable franchise worth investing in. Still, there is little room for error here. This fifth film has a lot to live up to and a hefty price tag to recuperate and that might not even include advertising and promotions.
2. Record Breaking Views
If you need more evidence that this franchise has yet to go stale just look at the film’s success on YouTube and social media. The trailer for “The Last Knight” debuted on December 5th during Monday Night Football on ESPN. After it was released online it broke records garnering 93.6 million views on numerous social media platforms. It was the third highest viewed trailer of the year behind Beauty and the Beast at 127.6 million and Fifty Shades Darker at 114 million views. It surpassed “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2”. Coincidently enough “Beauty and the Beast” featured a newer trailer for “The Last Knight” when it hit theaters several months later and the film’s theatrical trailer has been a part of numerous film releases over the first six months of 2017 quickly becoming one of the most popular due to its emotionally driven depiction of the events to occur in this new film.
1. The Nazi Controversy
As part of the film will include World War II era flashbacks a few scenes were shot including Nazi iconography. This created a massive media controversy because in September of 2016 shooting took place at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire England, the home of WWII British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. A snapshot of the scenes shot that were featured in the trailer can be seen above. The mansion was dressed in Nazi symbols to represent the headquarters of Hitler for the film. This sparked anger and criticism for being interpreted as disrespectful of Churchill. Bay defended the move on the BBC saying “People have not been fortunate enough to read the script and they don’t know that Churchill in this movie is a big hero, he would be smiling. When you see the movies you’ll understand. I for one, probably more than any other director in the world, have shot more veterans and more active military men and women in my movies. You can actually look it up. I would do nothing to disrespect veterans.” The move was defended by Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soames, who described the media backlash and the fallout as “a completely manufactured row” and “absolutely the most dismal, idiotic story I’ve ever read”. While some have called Bay out all the same for choosing a less than tasteful approach to depicting the headquarters of Hitler, the controversy does not seem to have impacted the film’s popularity here in the United States with most of the backlash coming from those in England where much of the film was shot.