Michael Bay Wants Out of ‘Transformers’, Meanwhile George Lucas Contemplates Ditching ‘Star Wars’ For More Personal Films
The sinking economy has finally hit megalomaniac film producers! Both Michael Bay and George Lucas have recently expressed interest in downsizing from huge action block busters to smaller more personal films. Two of the most notorious directors of large-scale special effects blockbusters doing art films? I guess McG will be have to pick up the slack. Bay, the man responsible for such classics as Armageddon and Bad Boys 2, recently announced that he does not want to continue with the Transformers franchise. He also said that he’ll quite possibly quit the action genre altogether:
After the three and a half years I’ve spent making these movies, I feel like I’ve had enough of the Transformers world. I need to do something totally divergent, something without any explosions.
Note to Judi Dench: If Michael Bay calls, don’t answer the phone!
George Lucas also seems to contemplating a similar move. In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, he talked about ditching the Star Wars franchise to do more personal work. He said:
Right now, I’m in the middle of television [the upcoming 'Star Wars' TV series]. And I’m producing and working on a feature ['Red Tails,' the story of the Tuskegee pilots]. In a couple of years, I’ll be out from underneath all that and then I can go on and write and direct for myself again.
Lucas also talked about some of the technologies that Lucasfilm has been developing, including one called “pre-visualization.” He explained that it will be a virtual storyboard, allowing the filmmaker to see the entire film before shooting even begins.
If all this clap-trap sounds familiar, it’s because filmmakers have already had this idea before and it doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record. Francis Ford Coppola famously developed an early version of the system in 1981 for One From the Heart. His insistence on using cutting edge technology for that film contributed to a bloated budget that was never recouped. When asked what he thought of spending so much time on technology as opposed to story, Lucas responded:
Well, art is a technological medium. For a long time, artists were basically engineers, so it’s not unusual to be involved in both. No matter what you do as an artist, you bump against a technological ceiling. You’re trying to solve problems with tools.
Sounds good, but that still doesn’t explain Star Wars: The Clone Wars.