Optimus Prime, we changed him a lot. We changed his facial stuff, the type of truck he was, the paint colors, the flames, which I got a lot of flak for. When we did the 3-D sculpting on a computer at ILM, 30 people are looking and I said, “This doesn’t look like Optimus Prime. Look at my drawing here, I want this drawing.” All of a sudden, this Japanese guy who barely speaks a lick of English – it’s the funniest meeting you’ve ever seen – he yells, in the meeting, “That is a insult to the Japanese people! That is not Optimus Prime! I want to do Optimus Prime!” Like, O.K. So he made some improvements. It’s interesting how so many people are attached to making one robot.
– Michael Bay, “that prince of unsubtlety, royal rejecter of nuance and regal repudiator of light-and-shade,” talks to the New York Times about the robot stars of Transformers 2, out next week. He also discusses his initial reaction when Steven Speilberg approached him about adapting the franchise: “And I knew what it was, but instantly I thought, this sounds lame. I’m like, ‘O.K., great, great, great.’ And I hung up the phone. And I’m like, ‘That sounds like a dumb idea.'” Thank heavens he changed his mind, huh?