Transformers (film) - Transformers Wiki
Personal tools

Transformers (film)

From Transformers Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the 2007 movie. For other uses of The Transformers, see Transformers (disambiguation).


TF2007Logo.png
Movie continuity family
Transformers (2007) »
Transformers is an elaborate cover up from the live-action film continuity family.
Transformers2007teaserposter.jpg
Beyond good. Beyond evil. Beyond your wildest imagination!
Transformers
Production companies DreamWorks
Hasbro
Di Bonaventura Pictures
Distributor Paramount Pictures
Release date July 3, 2007
Story by John Rogers
Roberto Orci
Alex Kurtzman
Screenplay by Roberto Orci
Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Michael Bay
Edited by Paul Rubell
Glen Scantlebury
Thomas A. Muldoon
Cinematography by Mitchell Amundsen
Music by Steve Jablonsky
Associate producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Tom DeSanto
Don Murphy
Ian Bryce
Executive producer Steven Spielberg
Continuity Live-action film series
Running time 143 minutes
Budget $150–200 million
Box office $709.7 million

Transformers is a live-action movie released by DreamWorks in 2007, with Executive Producer Steven Spielberg and Director Michael Bay. The story follows the Transformers' arrival on modern-day Earth and their interactions with the human race, as they search for the life-giving AllSpark and continue their ages-old civil war. The movie is a new imagining of the Transformers brand, drawing on past Transformers fiction but also distinct in its own right.

Transformers features Sam Witwicky, a plucky teenager who just wants a cool car, but gets more than he bargained for. The beater he and his father take home is actually Bumblebee, an alien robot from the planet Cybertron, who plants Sam down in the middle of a civil war between Bumblebee's benevolent Autobot comrades and the evil Decepticons who threaten the galaxy's peace. Both sides are after the AllSpark, a mysterious artifact that landed on Earth ten thousand years ago. The approaching robot-against-robot battle is a coming-of-age moment for Sam, who learns the meaning of his family's motto, "No sacrifice, no victory."

The principal cast members were Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, and Megan Fox, with Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving as the voices of the Transformers' iconic leaders. About 75 percent of the film's character designs and visual effects were created by Industrial Light & Magic, the effects-wizards behind the Star Wars films. The remaining 25 percent were done by Michael Bay's company, Digital Domain.

Originally slated to release in the summer of 2006, the film arrived in US theaters on July 3, 2007, and hit UK theaters on July 27 and French theaters on July 25. It premiered in Australia on June 12, 2007, and was released there and in a number of Asian countries on June 28, 2007. An extended cut of the film featuring footage not in the original was released to IMAX theatres on September 21, 2007.

Sam Witwicky, you hold the key to Earth's survival.

Optimus Prime on the basic plot

Contents

Synopsis

(thumbnail)
With this, I shall make you my slave!

Many years ago, Cybertron is destroyed at the hands of Megatron, during his quest to obtain the AllSpark. Megatron discovers the AllSpark on Earth, but crash-lands in the Arctic Circle, becoming frozen in the ice. Captain Archibald Witwicky and his crew of explorers stumble upon Megatron's body in the late 19th century. Megatron's navigational system is unintentionally activated, and Archibald's eyeglasses are imprinted with the coordinates to the AllSpark's location. Sector Seven, a secret organization of the United States government, independently discovers the AllSpark and builds the Hoover Dam around it to mask its energy signal. The still-frozen Megatron is moved into this facility, and is reverse engineered to further advance human technology.

(thumbnail)
Let the slaughter begin!

In the present day, the other DecepticonsStarscream, Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Bonecrusher, and Brawl — have already landed on Earth and assumed the disguise of Earth vehicles. Blackout and Scorponok attack the U.S. SOCCENT Forward Operations Base in Qatar in an effort to use the military database to discover the location of Megatron and the AllSpark, but they do not succeed. A small group of survivors under Captain William Lennox wander through the desert and are followed by Scorponok. The Autonomous Robotic Organism (shortened to "Autobot") known as Bumblebee is also on Earth, disguised as a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro, and looking for Sam Witwicky, the descendant of Captain Archibald Witwicky. He finds Sam at a used car lot where the boy is looking to purchase a car. Bumblebee covertly sabotages all of the other cars in the lot, leaving him as Sam's only option. Sam buys Bumblebee and the two quickly begin to bond as Bumblebee helps Sam try and woo his crush, Mikaela Banes. Sam is unaware of the fact that Bumblebee is an alien, until one night when the Autobot drives off without him. Sam chases Bumblebee on a bike to a factory area, calling the police in the process, and witnesses Bumblebee transform into robot mode and send a signal to the Autobots in space. The police soon arrive and Sam is arrested.

(thumbnail)
Run, Blaster! Save yourself!

At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary John Keller oversees the investigation into the attack in Qatar. After Blackout's failure, Frenzy infiltrates Air Force One and attempts to download all information relating to "Project Iceman". However, Maggie Madsen, one of the technicians studying the Decepticon infiltration signal, detects Frenzy hacking into the files and convinces the Pentagon to take down the Defense Network, halting Frenzy's download. When Air Force One makes an emergency landing, Frenzy slips into Barricade, and discusses his discovery of Archibald Witwicky, who has seen their language. Using an internet search, they discover that Sam's glasses will lead the Decepticons to the AllSpark. Frenzy and Barricade begin tracking Sam's location. Back in Qatar, the Army Rangers are attacked by Scorponok, and take refuge in a nearby village. Calling the Pentagon and getting air support, they discover that the Decepticons are vulnerable to high heat weaponry such as sabot rounds. Using this information, the soldiers inform the Pentagon that they now have a weapon.

(thumbnail)
Wheelie say find friends today.

Sam, having been bailed out of jail by his father, gets the impression that Bumblebee is stalking him. A freaked out Sam flees from Bumblebee (who is in car mode) on his mother's bike. Bumblebee then proceeds to pursue him. Mikaela sees Sam on the run and follows him on her motor scooter. After Sam evades Bumblebee, he is confronted by Barricade who demands Archibald's glasses. Mikaela arrives as Sam is running away from Barricade. Bumblebee, still in car mode, then finds them and has them get in. Barricade chases Bumblebee to a power plant where Bumblebee transforms and battles the Decepticon robot-to-robot. Meanwhile, Frenzy chases Sam but gets his head decapitated by Mikaela, however his head still functions and takes the form of Mikaela's phone to hide in her purse. Bumblebee, who has defeated Barricade, properly introduces himself to Sam and Mikaela. He then takes them to rendezvous with the rest of the Autobots. The Autobots—Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet—land on Earth and take on the forms of several Earth vehicles. They all meet in a dark, secluded alley, transform in front of the two amazed humans, introduce themselves and tell of the reasons they had to come to Earth to Sam and Mikaela. Meanwhile, Maggie, unable to convince John Keller and his officers of the Decepticon virus's complexity, makes a copy of the intrusion signal and shows it to her friend Glen Whitmann, who discovers a message with the signal about Sector Seven, Captain Witwicky, and Project Iceman. However, the FBI arrest Glen and Maggie, who desperately tries to convince them not to go to war with the wrong country.

(thumbnail)
I'll use the universal greeting.

Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots return to Sam's home to retrieve the glasses. However, agents from Sector Seven arrive to take Sam and Mikaela into custody. As Sam and Mikaela are taken away in one of their vehicles, Seymour Simmons, the agency's director, reveals that Mikaela has a criminal record and threatens Sam with life imprisonment, at which point the Autobots disable the convoy and rescue the teens. Mikaela then explains to Sam that the only reason she has a record is her refusal to turn her father in for the crimes he committed, prompting her to ask him what he has ever sacrificed in his "perfect little life." Reinforcements arrive at the scene and the Autobots retreat. However Sam and Mikaela are recaptured and Bumblebee is also captured despite Sam's pleas to let him go. Prime orders the other Autobots to let Bumblebee be taken, unwilling to use deadly force against the humans. At the Pentagon, a virus Frenzy uploaded during the Air Force One hack causes a global communications blackout, while Keller is finally informed of the Transformers by Tom Banachek. After Bumblebee's capture, Optimus uses the glasses to locate the AllSpark at Hoover Dam, and declares that if they cannot defeat the Decepticons, he will merge the Cube with his spark, even though it will kill him.

(thumbnail)
One shall stand. One shall fall.

Sam, Mikaela, Keller, Maggie, Glen, and Lennox's unit are brought to Hoover Dam, where they are shown by Simmons and Banachek the frozen Megatron and the AllSpark, while Frenzy slips away. Sam explains the Decepticons' plan to use the AllSpark to transform human machines to conquer the universe. Locating the AllSpark, Frenzy regenerates the rest of his body and sends out an alert to Starscream, who mobilizes the rest of the Decepticons. Due to Starscream's attack and Frenzy's sabotage, Megatron begins to thaw, and Sam, Lennox, and Keller convince Banachek and Simmons to release Bumblebee so that he can get the AllSpark to Optimus Prime. Bumblebee converts the AllSpark into a smaller state for transportation to Mission City.

Glen, Maggie, Keller, and Simmons manage to contact the Air Force and direct F22s to Mission City. Frenzy tries to stop them but is killed. As Bumblebee, Sam, Mikeala, and Lennox's unit drive to Mission City, they come in contact with the other Autobots, who join the convoy. Barricade, Devastator, and Bonecrusher, in vehicle modes, pursue them and Bonecrusher transforms into robot mode. Optimus transforms to stay behind and stop their pursuers. He fights Bonecrusher and eventually kills him. Meanwhile, the rest of the Autobots and the soldiers reach Mission City and come under attack by Starscream, Devastator, Blackout and Megatron. Bumblebee is crippled by Starscream while Jazz is killed by Megatron. Mikaela hijacks a tow truck to carry Bumblebee to safety while Lennox tasks Sam with taking the AllSpark to a building where it will be taken by military helicopters. Ironhide and Ratchet cover Sam as he makes his run to the building, protecting him from Blackout before being wounded by Starscream, leaving Sam to get to the building on his own.

(thumbnail)
Now, light our darkest hour!

Optimus Prime finally arrives in the area and confronts Megatron. The two battle one-on-one before Megatron knocks Prime out and chases Sam. As Sam gets to the roof of the building and is about to hand the AllSpark off to one of the helicopters, it is shot down by Starscream. Megatron destroys the portion of the roof the Sam is standing after he refuses to hand over the AllSpark. However, Optimus catches Sam and he and Megatron resume their duel with Megatron once again gaining the upper hand. Meanwhile, Mikaela drives the tow truck in reverse to allow Bumblebee to fire on Devastator, who has Lennox and his men pinned down. Bumblebee kills Devastator and a full air strike is called in on Blackout and Megatron. As Blackout attempts to assist Megatron, he is killed by Lennox and the Air Force before he can engage. Starscream hides among a raptor squadron, destroying three fighters before being chased away. The Air Force and Lennox's rangers attack Megatron, inflicting serious damage upon him, but he is still functional, and heading toward the Cube. Finally, with both Prime and Megatron weakened, Prime beckons Sam to shove the AllSpark into his chest, destroying them both, but Sam instead takes the riskier action of shoving the AllSpark into Megatron's chest, destroying it, and killing Megatron instead.

For an extensive synopsis of the battle, see separate article Mission City.

Optimus thanks Sam for his courage and for saving his life, while Bumblebee, who has temporarily regained his voice, asks permission to remain with Sam, which is granted. In an attempt to cover up the existence of the Transformers, Sector Seven is disbanded, while the remains of the Decepticons are cast into the Laurentian Abyss. Though Megatron is dead, the AllSpark's destruction leaves the Autobots unable to restore Cybertron. With no other home to go to, the Autobots decide to stay on Earth, and Optimus sends out a signal across space in an effort to locate any surviving Autobots, while Sam and Mikaela begin a relationship. Starscream retreats from Earth.

Main cast

* - Brawl is named "Devastator" in the film itself, but "Brawl" in the toyline and most of the supporting media. Plot summaries and such will reflect whichever name is relevant to that being described.

Quotes

"Before time began, there was the Cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them with life. That was how our race was born. For a time, we lived in harmony, but like all great power, some wanted it for good, others for evil. And so began the war - a war that ravaged our planet until it was consumed by death, and the Cube was lost to the far reaches of space. We scattered across the galaxy, hoping to find it and rebuild our home, searching every star, every world. And just when all hope seemed lost, message of a new discovery drew us to an unknown planet called... Earth. But we were already too late."

Optimus Prime's opening narration


"Look, can you do me a favor—can you look out the window for a second? See my father? He's the guy in the green car? Let me tell you about a dream, a boy's dream, and a man's promise to that boy. He looked him in the eye and said "Son, I'm gonna buy you a car, but I want you to bring me two-thousand dollars and three A's." OK, I got the two thousand and two A's. OK, here's the dream. Your B minus? Pfff! Dream gone. Kaputt. Sir, just ask yourself... what would Jesus do?"

Sam Witwicky negotiates a better mark for his Family Genealogy project


Bobby Bolivia: What with the semi-classic nature of the vehicle, slick wheels and custom paint job—
Sam: The paint's faded!
Bobby: Y-yeah, but it's custom.
Sam: It's custom faded?
Bobby: Well, it's your first car, I wouldn't expect you to understand. [turns to Ron] Five grand.
Ron: No, not paying over four. Sorry.
Bobby: [turns back to Sam] Kid, c'mon, get out, get out of the car.
Sam: No, no, no, you said cars pick their drivers!
Bobby: Well, sometimes they pick a driver with a cheap-ass father—out of the car.

—Negotiations over the car at Bolivia's Finest Quality Used Cars and Petting Zoo


[Sam's car leaves in a huge puff of black smoke]
"Wow... you are so cheap."
"It's his first car... supposed to be like that."

Judy Witwicky comments on the car's condition to Ron


Capt. Lennox: I need a credit card! Epps, where's your wallet?
Sgt. Epps: Pocket! [fires gun]
Lennox: Which pocket?"
Epps: My back pocket! [fires gun]
Lennox: You got ten back pockets!
Epps: Left cheek! Left cheek! Left cheek!

—Calling the Pentagon from Qatar gets complicated.


"Ready, heat's coming!"
"What, BRING IT!"

Lennox and Epps giving the green light for Strike Package Bravo to attack


Optimus Prime: Are you Samuel James Witwicky, descendant of Archibald Witwicky?
Mikaela Banes: They know your name!
Sam: Uh... Yeah?
Optimus Prime: My name is Optimus Prime.

—Admit it, you stood up and cheered and/or wept from joy after this exchange.


"The parents are... irritating. Can I take them out?"

Ironhide meets the family


Jazz: What about Bumblebee? We can't just leave him to die! And become some human experiment!
Optimus Prime: He'll die in vain if we don't accomplish our mission. Bumblebee is a brave soldier. This is what he would want.
Ironhide: Why are we fighting to save the humans? They're a primitive and violent race.
Optimus Prime: Were we so different? They are a young species. They have much to learn... but I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings... You all know there is only one way to end this war: We must destroy the Cube. If all else fails, I will unite it with the spark in my chest.
Ratchet: That's suicide! The Cube is raw power—it could destroy you both.
Optimus Prime: A necessary sacrifice to bring peace to this planet... We cannot let the humans pay for our mistakes. It's been an honor serving with you all. Autobots, roll out!
Jazz: We rollin'!

—The Autobots discuss their next move.


"Do you want a piece of me?! Do you want a piece-"
"NO! I want TWO!" [rips Jazz in half]

Jazz, showing no fear and Megatron, showing cruelty and cleverness


"Humans don't deserve to live."
"They deserve to choose for themselves!"
"Then you will die with them! Join them in extinction!"

Megatron and Optimus Prime have some mid-battle banter, Transformers style


"Give me the AllSpark, and you may live to be my pet."
"I'm never giving you this AllSpark!"
"Oh, so unwise..."

Megatron and Sam Witwicky have a tense moment on a Mission City rooftop.


"At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall!"

Optimus Prime plagiarises a much better movie.


"With the AllSpark gone, we cannot return life to our planet. And fate has yielded its reward: a new world to call... home. We live among its people now, hiding in plain sight... but watching over them in secret... waiting... protecting. I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there's more to them than meets the eye. I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars: We are here... we are waiting."

Optimus Prime's closing narration

Errors

  • Sunset occurs roughly every fifteen minutes. Possibly indicative of time passage, but a little too much to not warrant mention in the actual movie. Specific instances:
    • When the radar operator at SOCCENT base first spots Blackout, he reports him as an "inbound unidentified infiltrator, ten miles out". Colonel Sharp dispatches two F-22s, which intercept Blackout still in broad daylight. When Blackout lands at the base, it's suddenly sunset. As the soldiers round him up, it rapidly turns dark within what appears to be seconds. Once Blackout transforms, it's already night.
    • When Mikaela walks home from the lake, the sun is still shining. Sam tells Miles that she "lives ten miles from here". After he picked her up, Bumblebee feigns an engine problem. By the time Sam gets him running again, the sky is still in an early stage of pre-sunset. By the time Sam drops Mikaela at her home, it's night again.
    • Barricade assaults Sam in the middle of the day. Bumblebee intervenes and drives off with Sam and Mikaela still in broad daylight. During the ensuing car chase, sunset abruptly occurs once Bumblebee has left the warehouse, and it promptly turns night between shots. (The chase scene was actually intended to be longer; see "changes before, during and after production" below.)
  • The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) used by the US Air Force to investigate Scorponok's attack on Captain Lennox is modeled after the MQ-9 Reaper, but is identified as the MQ-1 Predator. Also, neither of these UAVs use jet engines.
(thumbnail)
These shots were shown in sequence, believe it or not.
  • After Maggie copies the signal to take to Glen, she hails a black and white cab, but she's dropped off at Glen's house by an all-white cab. (The "cab hailing" footage originally came from a deleted scene near the beginning of the movie when Maggie was late for work.), and are two different models of the Crown Victoria taxicab.
  • When Sam's car breaks down and Mikaela gets out to look at the engine, she leaves the passenger door open. When the car restarts and Sam leaves to close the hood, the passenger side door is now shut. But hey, maybe that was Bumblebee.
  • Mikaela identifies Bumblebee's engine as having a "high-rise, double-pump carburetor" but the engine shown has no such carburetor.
  • When Sam spots Barricade, there’s nobody visible in the police car. The police officer hologram only appears in one shot after Sam is hit by the door.
  • After Bumblebee backs into a corner of the power plant to evade Barricade, there is a close up shot of him spinning his wheels to make his getaway. However, the shot of the wheels spinning is at a different location: the empty warehouse that Bumblebee and Barricade had raced through moments earlier.
  • Possibly an error, or possibly just a confusing shot setup, but when Bumblebee makes his escape, Barricade appears to change positions multiple times as camera angles change. Bumblebee guns his engines as Barricade is just starting to cross in front of him, but as Bumblebee speeds backwards, Barricade has backtracked well out of the way.
  • After scanning his new Concept Camaro alt-form, Bumblebee's robot body displays either battle-worn parts or brand new parts at random times for the duration of the film.
(thumbnail)
Barricade has the plate before Jazz even comes to Earth, so it's not a trophy or anything...
  • As long as Bumblebee transforms into a 1976 Camaro, his license plate consistently reads "489 PCE" both in vehicle and robot mode. After scanning his modern Camaro alternate mode, the license plate changes too... which isn't actually an error. What is an error, though, is that the new license plate keeps changing from "900 STRA" in vehicle mode to "4NZZ454" in robot mode.
  • Jazz's license plate is equally inconsistent: On his robot mode chest it's "1-4027E", but during his transformation before his fight with Brawl, he sports the license plate "664 NLZO" in vehicle mode. What's worse, "1-4027E" is also Barricade's license plate in vehicle mode, as can be seen when he slows down and then accelerates again after having seemingly cornered Bumblebee.
  • During the scene where Optimus Prime scans a truck for his new body, the passing truck has what appears to be an Autobot sigil on its grill, but the actual truck that Prime turns into at the end of the scene has a much wider, flatter symbol on the grill, quite possibly a Peterbilt logo.
  • After being apprehended by Sector Seven, Sam’s wardrobe keeps changing between his Strokes shirt and a brown sweatshirt that appeared out of nowhere.
  • When Simmons replays Sam's "last words" recorded onto his cell phone, it doesn't match what he said in the scene where he actually recorded them.
  • When the Autobots arrive to rescue Sam and Mikaela from Agent Simmons, Ironhide is the first Autobot to reach the damaged SUV and the other Sector Seven agents. Behind him, Ratchet is making his way towards the SUV, while Jazz and Bumblebee have their respective weapons drawn. However, in the very next shot, Ratchet's gun is suddenly in front of Ironhide, who is now making two short steps towards the SUV, while Jazz's gun has been replaced by his hand (which he uses to pull Sector Seven's guns away magnetically). In the shot after that, Jazz is just standing around sans Sector Seven guns, while Bumblebee wanders up and draws his gun...again.
(thumbnail)
Yer days're numbered now, Decepti-creeps.
  • When Banachek shows Keller photographs of the Decepticon that destroyed the Mars Beagle 2 Rover, and supposedly a photo of Blackout taken by Epps during the attack on SOCCENT Qatar, "Blackout's photo" is clearly taken during the day, complete with the sun behind the Decepticon as a major light source, whereas the attack on SOCCENT took place in the evening. This was either a continuity error or a ham-handed attempt to make the audience realise the attackers in both photos are one and the same by making the photos look similar.
    • Not to mention that the actual Beagle 2 was a European Space Agency lander, not a NASA Rover.
  • During the montage where Bumblebee's frozen body is being transported inside Hoover Dam via a moving platform whilst the Autobots discuss his fate, in one of the shots the physical Bumblebee prop is missing its distinctive car doors.
  • During the first half of the movie, Maggie is wearing a slim striped skirt, but she is suddenly dressed in 3/4 jeans in the scene when they arrive at Hoover Dam.
  • When the Autobots cross paths with Bumblebee, Sam and the Allspark, during the close-up on Optimus, Ratchet's rear reflection can be seen in the bumper of the truck. However, Optimus is the first in the line at this time. Ratchet will only be in front of him a few shots later, when the Autobots have turned around to follow Bumblebee.
Movie Barricade finalappearance.jpg
  • As the Decepticons are coming up behind the Autobots on the highway, the wide-angle shot of the enitre highway shows us that the traffic directions have been swapped on both sides of the road. The side that the Autobots and Decepticons are on, driving towards the camera, shows road and destination signs that would only be seen if they were driving away from the camera. Likewise, on the other side of the divider, the traffic (likely civilian vehicles in real-life) are driving in the opposite direction than what they are supposed to. Hilariously, while this is all going on, the overpass above them is full of parked cars with people watching the filming of the scene. Couldn't they have just cropped the people above out at the very least?
  • This may not be an error, but Barricade seems to disappear after being driven off the road during the highway scene, as he is never shown again in the movie or the sequel. Wheelie later pulls the same trick in said sequel.
  • When Brawl first shows up to the battle, Sam is standing next to Mikaela watching as the Decepticon tank approaches and then he takes off running. The next shot cuts back to Mikaela spotting the abandoned tow truck she's about to use to transport Bumblebee out of the city. The shot after that shows Sam is sitting in the rubble next to the AllSpark as Bumblebee crawls over to him. The last shot cut in with the previous shots makes it look as if Sam ran away just to sit down in the middle of the battlefield. Come on, Sam, where's your head at?
  • When Ironhide transforms and performs a somersault to dodge Brawl's missiles, he is seen rising first, then falling. At that moment, he is already almost at the ground, low enough to touch the ground if he stretched his arms. However, on the next scene, he has gone much higher up, high enough to fire both the cannons on his arms then perform a midair somersault.
  • When Lennox arrives as Sam and Mikaela are supposedly strapping Bumblebee with the tow truck's chains, Bumblebee is not actually there. When the shot changes angles to the other side of the truck, Bumblebee is sitting right beside the truck while Sam directs Mikaela to wrap Bumblebee in the chains. When Lennox tells Sam to evacuate the Cube, subsequent camera angles from this side of the truck are actually where Bumblebee was moments earlier, but he's not there again (it is unlikely the angle was meant to be from Bumblebee's perspective). When Sam starts to run off and Mikaela calls him back, Bumblebee is once again clearly not sitting beside the truck. In fact, the space he once occupied has the beige van he crawled out of, earlier in the battle. What makes this all the more bizarre is that the life-sized Bumblebee prop was actually used for some of the scenes that depict Bumblebee strapped to the tow truck.
(thumbnail)
Mike changed phone numbers while giant robots were fighting in the city.
  • After Optimus Prime and Megatron land in the city streets after flying through the office tower, Megatron throws the Autobot leader a short distance away, causing him to land on a parked car. After Megatron forms his fusion cannon, Optimus Prime has suddenly moved further down the street and the car he crushed, along with the other abandoned cars, have vanished. Also, in this shot, Optimus' feet don't make craters or any visible mark on the concrete. Yet, when Optimus is running from the Sector Seven Agents, he's making huge craters while he is side-stepping cars. (This comes with weighing over four tons and running 40 miles an hour.) Additionally, Optimus stops at the intersection just in front of Megatron to pull out his Ion blaster in this shot, but when it cuts to a shot to the left-front of Optimus, he is only mid-way up the street, and there is a parked yellow cab at the curb which was empty seconds earlier. Funnily enough, this curb was where the crushed car was parked.
  • During the fight towards the end of the film between Megatron and Optimus, it is shown that Optimus is about the same size as Megatron in robot mode. Yet, in vehicle mode, Megatron is a great deal larger than Optimus is. Similarly, Starscream seems to be smaller than Megatron in robot form, leading to the logical conclusion that he is smaller than Optimus as well. Yet in vehicle mode, he is nearly four to five times larger, seeing as an F-22 Raptor is a great deal larger than a Peterbilt 379 tractor cab. And they say they don't have scale problems.
  • For the battle in Mission City, see Mission City#Notes.
  • The phone number on the doors of the tow truck is "800-555-0199" when Mikaela is driving it, but when she gets out, the number changes to "800-555-MIKE". The font is slightly different, too.
  • In the battle at Mission City, Brawl very clearly fires 3 missiles out of his shoulder-mounted missile launcher, but before he dies, all 4 missiles are in his missile launcher. Then again, this could just be a sort of 'auto-reload' thing the Transformers have going on, as they probably wouldn't get very far in battle if they were only limited to 4 missiles each.
  • When Keller is meeting with the other officials, he says they're going to dump the bodies of the Decepticons into the Laurentian Abyss, the deepest place on the planet. The deepest place on the planet is the Mariana Trench.


Explicable discrepancies

  • Sam and Mikaela, as well as Maggie and Glen arrive at Hoover Dam on the same helicopter despite being from opposite ends of the country. Occasionally cited as an error, it is actually a narrative oversight, as it is likely that Sam and Mikaela were held in custody at a U.S. Air Base while waiting for Maggie and Glen to arrive with Secretary Keller's party by plane, then they all left for Hoover Dam together on the helicopters.
  • There are some problems with Simmons's statement about various technologies being reverse-engineered from Megatron. Cars came about in one shape or form at about the turn of the century, and spaceflight technology was pioneered by German and Soviet scientists. (This is possibly what they want you to think.) Then again, Simmons also thinks that Nokia is a Japanese company...
  • Most people mistakenly confuse the date of Megatron's discovery with the date the Hoover Dam was built. Based on the various dates given by Banachek, it's clear that Megatron was left in the Arctic for many years before being moved to Hoover Dam, making his discovery easily pre-date cars.

Transformer references

The movie contains a number of nods and winks to previous iterations of Transformers, primarily from Generation 1. Some of these were included in direct response to urgings of the fans; others originated with the production crew.

  • The basic story set-up is similar to many iterations of the Generation 1 story — two warring factions, the noble Autobots and the power-hungry Decepticons, arrive on Earth, having left their devastated home planet, the war-torn mechanical world of Cybertron.
  • Many of the featured Transformers are re-imagined versions of characters from Generation 1. Optimus Prime and Jazz in particular are similar in physical form and characterization to their movie incarnations. The Movie versions of Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream, Ratchet, and Ironhide differ in appearance but fulfill story roles similar to their original versions.
  • Though the characters are new, "Frenzy", "Scorponok", "Brawl/Devastator", "Blackout", "Barricade", and "Bonecrusher" are all names that have been used on Transformer characters before.
  • Blackout's symbiotic relationship with Scorponok originated as an interpretation of Soundwave and his cassette troops. Frenzy's transformation into a portable stereo is likewise an homage to Soundwave's cassette deck alternate form.
  • Sam shares his last name with the main human allies of the Autobots in the original Generation 1 cartoon. Like Spike before him, he's closest to Bumblebee.
  • The Autobot faction symbol seen on Bumblebee and others is basically unchanged from its Generation 1 appearance.
  • The AllSpark takes its name from a concept originally introduced in Beast Machines.
  • The original G1 transformation sound pops up several times during the course of the film, such as Blackout's first conversion sequence (though truth be told it sounds more like it's being broadcast from a loudspeaker.)
(thumbnail)
Your bargaining posture is highly dubious.
  • In his first appearance, Bumblebee parks next to a yellow Volkswagen Beetle — the alternate form of G1 Bumblebee.
  • When instructing the Autobots to escape Sector Seven and when they later head for Hoover Dam, Optimus Prime delivers his catchphrase from the Generation 1 cartoon, ordering them to "Roll out!"
  • Sam's surmise that the Transformers come from Japan is not entirely inaccurate.
  • Prime references "the spark in my chest". Sparks — the life-force that makes Transformers alive — have been an integral part of Transformers fiction since Beast Wars.
  • Although the Transformers' primary energy supply, Energon, does not make an established physical appearance in the film, its name appears on the license plate of an SUV thrown through the air during Megatron's rampage in Mission City.
  • Optimus Prime's line "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" is the quote from his original 1984 toy's bio. At least one of the reasons for the inclusion of this line was because it won in an online contest conducted by Paramount in late 2006, named "Make Prime Speak".
  • Prime's line "...one shall stand; one shall fall" comes from the 1986 animated The Transformers: The Movie.
  • The scene in which Jazz yanks aside Brawl's tank barrel is a direct homage to a similar sequence from TF:TM involving Kup and Blitzwing.
  • Ironhide's complaint that Mojo "leaked lubricant" on his foot references a favorite exclamation of his Generation 1 counterpart, "Leakin' lubricant!" The phrase originated with his original character outline, stating that "he [refers to] excessive talking as 'leaking lubricant.'"
  • Sam telling Mikaela that there's "more than meets the eye... with you" quotes the slogan used in the toy line, also included in the G1 series theme song.
  • Megatron wields a flail in the Mission City battle, just as he did in his fight with Optimus Prime in the second-ever G1 episode, "More than Meets the Eye, Part 2".

Other editions

The 2007 Transformers film has more than one "cut."

  • The worldwide theatrical release was essentially identical all around the world with a few minor exceptions.
  • In the Philippines, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board required the censoring of the word "masturbation" to change the film's rating from PG-13 to G.[1]
  • Glen's line, "that killer robot is really distracting", was cut from DVD releases. However, it is featured in the official novelization of the movie and at least one trailer.
  • The IMAX edition of the movie features two minutes of additional footage in the form of slightly extended scenes and very brief new scenes. Added material includes the following:
    • Before heading to the lake party, Sam is shown picking Miles up at his house. Miles derides Sam's choice of car colors.
    • After Sam is questioned by the sheriff at the police station, he is given an anti-drug bumper sticker and shown the "This is Your Brain on Drugs" PSA starring Rachel Leigh Cook.
    • After abducting Sam and Mikaela, Agent Simmons uses a device to monitor Sam's pupil dilation while interrogating him in the truck. He also remarks that he has "been there" when it comes to women with criminal records.
    • Upon arriving at Hoover Dam, Simmons remarks colorfully that it is "Area 50". A few minutes later, he lists the nicknames of all the U.S. Presidents to have toured the facility.
    • In Mission City, Lennox acquires short-range radios from a gun-toting, but easily flattered, pawn shop owner.
  • Strangely, the televised versions of the film feature different synthesized effects on all of the Transformers' voices. These changes result in the Autobots and Decepticons sounding like they are talking inside a tin can. Why this difference is present and where the changes originally came from are unknown.
  • The Cartoon Network broadcast of the film replaces some of the curses with other words. Sam's Parent's "family discussion" is toned down a bit, with Judy's line about masturbation removed.

Prequel material

A novel about the truth behind humankind's first venture into space and how that event is related to the Transformers' presence on Earth, both past and present.
A four issue limited series comic book from IDW Publishing, released before the movie's debut. It chronicles the events which bring the Transformers to Earth.
  • "Interlude" (also originally published as Transformers Movie Prequel)
A short comic book by IDW, produced in cooperation with Target, available (online) from Target's website and (in printed form) at BotCon and in theaters, following Bumblebee's early search for clues on Earth.
  • "Planetfall" (also originally published as Transformers Movie Prequel)
A mini-comic by IDW, produced in cooperation with Target, available (online) from Target's website and (in printed form) as a Target exclusive bonus pack-in with the Movie DVD, showing the Decepticons' arrival on Earth.
A mass retail release that contains reprints of both "Planetfall" and "Interlude" (now with individual story titles) in collected form.
A not-really-animated animatic version of IDW's Movie Prequel comics, voiced by some of the actors from the movie, the game and a bunch of other people. Included on a Walmart exclusive bonus DVD available with the Movie DVD.
A monthly comic published in the UK by Titan Books, featuring new adventures set before the movie in its initial six issues (in addition to reprints of stories originally published by IDW). They were reprinted by IDW in the Saga of the Allspark mini-series.

Some dialog in the film contradicts the prequel material, specifically pertaining to the years in which the frozen Megatron was moved from the Arctic to Hoover Dam, and exactly when the Decepticons arrived on Earth. Some of the prequel material contradicts the other prequel material... at least till John Barber fixed some of them on his Dark of the Moon tie in comics.

Adaptations

A novelization of the film by Alan Dean Foster.

IDW Publishing's comic adaptation of the film.

Children Adaptations

A novelization of the film for kids.

Sequels

Four sequels to this film have been produced and released worldwide, and one more is planned for release in 2018, following The Last Knight.

A five-issue comic sequel to the film published by IDW Publishing.

Soundtrack

Score

Home video releases

2007Movie 2-disc DVD.jpg

There are nearly a dozen store exclusive versions and sales premiums of the DVD. They include:

  • Target and HMV UK: transforming Optimus Prime display case.
  • Best Buy: Robot Heroes Cliffjumper and battle-damaged Optimus Prime.
  • Walmart: Beginnings "animated" prequel material.
  • Borders: "Making Of" book.
  • Circuit City: password unlocking 15 minutes of exclusive online behind-the-scenes featurettes, covering the voice recording sessions, prop construction, stunt work, and early CG tests and animatics.


Theatrical posters

PicsNeeded.gif
Let's see what you can see...

This article is in need of images.

Specifics: Any other official posters not depicted here

Reception

The movie set multiple records when it opened, including biggest opening week gross for a non-sequel ($155.4 million), biggest Tuesday release gross ($27.4 million), biggest July 4 gross ($29 million), and the biggest film opening in mainland China ($3 million) [1].

(thumbnail)
Oh, how it pains me to do this.

The movie closed domestically on November 8, 2007, during which time it took in $319,246,193. (Domestic gross accounted for $310,578,372 before the IMAX version's release.) It has earned a worldwide gross of $708,272,592. It currently sits at spot #20 in the "most domestic gross" list of movies, though this listing is not adjusted for inflation. When taking inflation into account, Transformers currently sits at #102. 2

I didn't sleep through it the way I Novocained my way through the awful Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but by the time it ended, I thought I might have vertigo or whiplash, or both, and I certainly lost more than a few of my remaining I.Q. pointsRex Reed
It's goofy fun with a lot of stuff that blows up real good, and it has the grace not only to realize how preposterous it is, but to make that into an asset.Roger Ebert
But it's tough to really care about questions like, "Why did that happen?" or even "What's going on?" when you’re constantly interrupted by "Oh my goodness! Giant robots! Weeee!"Peter Suderman, The National Review

Critical reception was hit-and-miss, more positive than negative but not by a lot, though it's sometimes hard to tell how many negative reviewers were more interested in criticizing Michael Bay in general over the movie itself. Otherwise, the most common negatives involved it being a generally think-free "spectacle"-style movie; even those who rated the movie positively noted it was a pure "popcorn" movie meant to wow its audience with CGI and explosions rather than make them think (Richard Roper noted in his "thumbs up" review "it has no nutritional value"). Whether one considers that a good or bad thing for a movie and if the movie was enough fun to overcome that is, of course, highly debatable. The other main culprit, again noted by many of the positive reviews, was its long running time, particularly the overly-chaotic, often hard-to-follow final big-bang extended ending action sequence. (Roger Ebert noted that this sequence was what made him give the movie three out of four stars rather than the full four.)

From the fan and general audience point of view, Transformers was generally favored. However, there have been division over the amount of human stories at the expense of the robots. Its status with the greater Transformers fandom has swayed over time. Initially, opinions were just as mixed-but-generally-favorable as with the general public (with its changes to established Transformers characters, designs and mythos being an additional point against the movie for those who disliked it). When Revenge of the Fallen came out and became infamous for being such a financial and cultural success despite its critical drubbing, many fans' distaste towards ROTF extended to the first movie as well, and it wasn't uncommon for it to be lumped together with its sequels as one of the worst film series and Transformers incarnations of all time. Over time, as hype and backlash for the movie series died down, many fans started looking back at the first movie more positively; it isn't uncommon to find reviews and opinion pieces that berate the sequels, or even the movie series as a whole, but claim that the first movie was (or may have been) the only good one. While some critics disliked taking a children's franchise and turning it into a gritty, "inappropriate" action movie with a ton of swearing and sexual innuendos, other fans felt this was a step forward for the franchise, with darker moments appearing in Animated, Prime and the 2005 IDW continuity. This also marked the end of Hasbro dubbing Takara's "anime" as American cartoons.

The Chinese gross ended up being $37m, a huge amount from China at the time. This is the film that made Hollywood sit up and court China, changing the very face of the industry. [2]

Transformers was nominated for three Oscars, in the fields of Achievement in Sound Editing, Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Achievement in Visual Effects. The sound awards went to The Bourne Ultimatum, and the visual effects award went to The Golden Compass.

Four sequels have been produced to date: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released worldwide on June 24, 2009, Transformers: Dark of the Moon was released on June 28, 2011, Transformers: Age of Extinction was released on June 27, 2014, and Transformers: The Last Knight was released on June 21, 2017. A prequel-slash-reboot-slash-spin-off, Bumblebee was released on December 21, 2018.

According to a 2011 survey, the 2007 Transformers movie is the third most-pirated movie of all time.[3]

Technical details

Length: 144 min (original theatrical)[4]
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: Dolby Digital / DTS / SDDS
Content Rating:

  • PG-13 (USA/MPAA)
  •  ? (Japan)
  • 12A (United Kingdom)
  • PG (Canada; British Columbia)[5]
  • G (Canada; Quebec)
  • PG (Canada; Alberta/Manitoba/Nova Scotia/Ontario)
  • PG (Canada; Canadian Home Video Rating System)
  • PG (Taiwan)
  • IIA (China; Hong Kong)
  • PG (Singapore)
  • G (Philippines/MTRCB)
  • U (France)
  • U (Malaysia)
  • M (Australia)
  • M (New Zealand)
  • TE (Chile)
  • 10 (Brazil)
  • 10M (South Africa)
  • 11 (Denmark)
  • K-11 (Finland)
  • 11 (Norway)
  • 11 (Sweden)
  • 12 (Germany)
  • 12A (Ireland)
  • 12 (Netherlands)
  • M/12 (Portugal)
  • 12 (South Korea)
  • 12 (Switzerland)
  • 13 (Argentina)
  • 14 (Peru)
  • 12 (Poland)
  • B (Mexico)
  • 12+ (Russia)

Production staff

(thumbnail)
Megatron? Is that you?!

Visual Effects

Locations Department

(winners of the California On Location Award [2] for "Production Company / Location Team of the Year for Feature Films")

  • Supervising Location Manager: Ilt Jones
  • Location Managers: Michael J. Burmeister, Fermín Dávalos, and Emre Sonmez
  • Key Assistant Location Managers: Michael Wesley Aycock, Leann Emmert, Perri Fichtner, Ronald M. Haynes, Jonathan Hook, Kathy McCurdy, Manny Padilla, Lisa Patton, Rob Swenson, Marta Tomkiw, and Scott Trimble
  • Additional Key Assistant Location Managers: Brooks Bonstin, Alexandre Chen, Michael Chickey, Martin J. Cummins
  • Assistant Location Managers: Ces Hardy and Amanda Harrington
  • Location Scouts: Stuart Raven Barter, Richard Klotz, James Lin, and Keith Nakata


Development details

Cast and crew signing on

In 2000, director Joseph Kahn pitched his treatment for a live-action Transformers film to Sony, but they eventually lost interest in a film. In 2003, producer Don Murphy had intended to produce a movie based on another Hasbro property, G.I. Joe. However, following the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, a movie entitled "G.I. Joe" was no longer considered viable, so Carol Monroe, who was in charge of Hasbro's movie department at that time, suggested doing a Transformers movie instead.[6] Tom DeSanto joined the project as a second producer and wrote a treatment that he and Murphy tried to shop around for a while. (The treatment would eventually remain entirely unused, but DeSanto would try to get a writing credit regardless, even though none of the screenwriters had ever actually seen his treatment.[7]) The movie was officially announced for the first time in June 2003.[8]

In 2004, after DreamWorks won a bidding war with New Line Cinema over the rights to the film, Steven Spielberg signed up as executive producer, while John Rogers was confirmed as screenwriter in November of the same year.[9] In February 2005, Rogers was replaced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci,[10] who drastically reworked Rogers' original script.[11] Spielberg tried to convince Michael Bay to direct the movie in late July 2005, but Bay initially declined, having no interest in a "toy movie". He later changed his mind after attending "Transformers school" at Hasbro, but decided to make the movie "realistic" and accessible for adult viewers.[12]

A few days after a list of names of the human cast had been leaked on the internet, Shia LaBeouf was confirmed as the first cast member.[13] Producer Don Murphy,[14] Hasbro[15] and the screenwriters[16] all favored Peter Cullen and Frank Welker as voice actors for Optimus Prime and Megatron. Bay had both audition, but only hired Cullen, while preferring Hugo Weaving as Megatron.[17] However, Welker still got to voice Megatron (alongside Cullen as Prime) in the video game adaption of the movie, Transformers The Game, as well as in Beginnings, an animated (sort of) version of IDW's prequel comic mini-series that was available on a Wal*Mart exclusive bonus disc included with the movie DVD.

Sponsors and partners

Hasbro

In addition to acting as a licensor, Hasbro also actively participated in the development of the movie, starting with an introduction into the world of the Transformers, called the "Transformers School", for everyone involved, including Michael Bay.[18] Hasbro also had a say in the depiction of the Transformers in the movie, the selection of the voice actors,[15] naming the characters, working on the robot designs[19] and the inclusion of "easter eggs", but no veto rights.[18] According to screenwriter Roberto Orci, Hasbro was more interested in an adequate adaption of the Transformers concept rather than only marketing the toyline.[20] Nevertheless, Hasbro urged Michael Bay very early on to decide upon the Transformers characters to be used in the movie and their vehicle forms because of the long production run of the toys, even though the script wasn't completed yet by that point.[21] Hasbro and Takara then created the toys based on the designs developed by Industrial Light & Magic. Aside from this, Takara wasn't involved in the creation of the movie at all.[22]

Unlike other Transformers toylines (except for Alternators), Hasbro and Takara don't share the full rights to the movie toys: Paramount and ILM hold the rights to the robot designs, while the vehicle modes were licensed by companies such as General Motors (Bumblebee, Jazz, Ironhide and Ratchet), Saleen (Barricade), Force Protection Industries (Bonecrusher), the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Blackout) and the Lockheed Martin Corporation (Starscream). Only Optimus Prime didn't require a license, since his vehicle mode in the movie was heavily genericized, and all manufacturer logos were removed.[23] TakaraTomy even identifies the Leader Class toy as a Kenworth W900 instead of a Peterbilt 379.[24]

Even though Hasbro didn't directly profit from the box office revenue, owning the Transformers brand allowed them to profit more from the toys than from licensed brands such as Spider-Man or Star Wars. In addition, Hasbro was able to give out over 240 licenses to third party companies.[25] In the USA alone, Hasbro had sold more than three million toys from the movie line as early as July 2007,[26] while Wal-Mart had earned more than five million $USD with the movie Transformers at the same time.[27] A lot of the movie toys were frequently sold out at many stores ("drought") due to a mix of popularity, stores underestimating said popularity (and thus not ordering enough toys), shipping problems in China and scalpers.

US Military

The United States military (via Philip Strub and the Defense Department's Film and Television Liaison Office) supported the movie by providing vehicles and soldiers. The vehicles included an MH-53 Pave Low helicopter (Blackout), several F-22 Raptors (one of them serving as Starscream's alternate mode), two A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter jets, an E-3 Sentry AWACS plane, an AC-130 Spectre gunship and two V-22 Ospreys. Many other airplanes are seen in the background like a few UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, several F-117 Nighthawks, and several cargo planes like the C-17 Globemaster and the C-130 Hercules. Therefore, Transformers is the first movie to feature real, non-CG F-22s.[28] Real soldiers trained with the actors who played military personnel[29] and were also featured as extras in the movie. Michael Bay even allowed them to improvise lines to make their military dialogue sound as "realistic" as possible.[30] In return for their cooperation, Bay gave the military a say in their own depiction in the movie.[31] The military, in turn, views the movie as a new form of recruitment.[32]

Product Placement

Aside from advertising the Transformers toyline, the movie also features product placement for other companies, such as Apple, Yahoo, Burger King, Nokia, Panasonic, eBay and Hewlett-Packard. The machines given life by the Allspark include an Xbox 360 (including the original startup sound) and a Mountain Dew soda vending machine. In addition, the movie also features other Hasbro brands, such as My Little Pony and Furby (the latter being a property of Hasbro's subsidiary Tiger Electronics). Furthermore, all Autobots, with the exception of Optimus Prime, have vehicles provided by subsidiaries of General Motors as their alternate modes, which saved Michael Bay $3 million of his budget.[21]

Many of these cooperations were mutual: Burger King offered the obligatory Kids Meal toys based on the movie characters for the movie's theatrical launch, and General Motors and Mountain Dew ran TV ads under the titles "Transform Your Ride" and "Transform Your Summer", respectively. According to producers Ian Bryce and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, however, some of these brands, such as eBay, were not originally included as part of a sponsoring deal, but had been part of the script from the beginning for story purposes on the writers' behalf.[19] For the DVD release of the movie, meanwhile, additional "Cisco" logos were added into the movie that had not been there yet in the theatrical version.[33]

Special effects

  • Three quarters of the CG effects were done by Industrial Light & Magic. The other quarter was done by Digital Domain, a company Michael Bay bought shortly before signing up to the Transformers movie.
  • As seen in the bonus material for the Movie DVD, at least some of the ILM designers are actually Transformers fans. One of the animators, Charles Alleneck, has his entire office decorated in more Transformers toys than a lot of "regular" fans might own.
  • Physical props and set pieces were built for several of the Transformers' robot modes. Full body props for Bumblebee (the 2009 Camaro body) and Frenzy were used for scenes that involved direct interaction with the human cast. The Bumblebee prop (with detached legs) was also used for the scene where he was strapped to a tow truck. A set featuring the frozen lower half of Megatron's body was also built. The rest is assorted bits and pieces, such as Scorponok's head and tail, a part of Optimus Prime's leg (including a wheel) and an unpainted, entirely blue version of his head plus a small part of the upper chest, and various semi-random chunks meant to represent the remains of the destroyed Decepticons dumped into the ocean (some of the parts meant to represent pieces of Blackout even feature markings found on a real-life MH-53 Pave Low helicopter).

Changes before, during and after production

A lot of details about the movie changed during the pre-production phase (and even still during production and post-production):

  • The script was originally supposed to center around the Matrix, but because the studio wanted to avoid association with the Matrix movie trilogy, it had to be renamed. For the longest time, the working name was "Energon Cube", which neither the fans nor producer Don Murphy were really happy with.[14] Ultimately, it was renamed into the AllSpark for the final movie; however, the name "Energon Cube" is still used in Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the movie, and was also used by Shia LaBeouf in a CBS interview immediately before the movie's official theatrical launch.[34]
  • One of the Autobot characters in the early Kurtzman/Orci drafts was Arcee, who would have turned into a motorcycle. Even though Hasbro developed a toy based on the designs for the character, Arcee was dropped from the script and replaced with Ironhide: Kurtzman and Orci didn't want to spend time explaining the purpose of "female" Autobots,[35] and Michael Bay considered her too small as compared to the rest of the Autobots.[36] Despite what fans commonly assume, however, the scene during the final battle in Mission City where Lennox uses an abandoned motorcycle for his assault on Blackout wasn't added to the script until after Arcee had already been dropped from the script; however, had she not been dropped, she would have probably been that motorcycle.[37]
  • Other Autobot characters considered by Orci and Kurtzman were Hot Rod, Wheeljack and Prowl.[38] The last was eventually dropped because Orci and Kurtzman preferred the idea of "a Decepticon in disguise as a police vehicle".[39]
  • Blackout was conceived as Vortex—matching Brawl as a character based on a Combaticon—in the first draft of the script.[40][41]
  • Kurtzman and Orci tried twice to include Soundwave in the movie. At one point, the character that became Blackout was named Soundwave,[42] but Hasbro rejected that notion and insisted that Soundwave's alternate mode should have something to do with music.[43] Other preproduction names for Blackout included "Grimlock",[44] "Devastator"[45] and "Incinerator".[46]
  • The second attempt would have infiltrated the CIA headquarters in the form of a "portable stereo" and then transformed (and size-shifted) into a Humvee for his escape and tracked down Sam.[44] The "vehicle" part was later turned into a separate character, who was then given a different alternate mode (as a police cruiser) and eventually ended up as Barricade. Meanwhile, the "portable stereo" character also went through several changes, because Kurtzman and Orci eventually decided that the character didn't really do Soundwave justice, so they decided to change his name and save Soundwave for the sequel.[47] The character went through some other working names such as "Boombot"[48] and "Soundbyte"[49] and eventually ended up as Frenzy.
  • Other Decepticon characters considered by Orci and Kurtzman, aside from Soundwave, were Shockwave and Ravage.[38] The latter was originally supposed to be a minion of helicopter Soundwave, who would have chased Lennox and his crew through the jungle after the attack on their base. However, when the scene was changed from the jungle to the desert (and Soundwave was no longer Soundwave), Ravage was replaced by Scorponok.[50]
  • Because of the long production run of the toys, Hasbro urged Michael Bay very early on to decide upon the Transformers characters to be used in the movie and their vehicle forms, even though the script wasn't completed yet by that point.[21] As a result, many of the Decepticon characters in particular were chosen somewhat hastily, and aren't really based on established Transformers characters aside from their names. The tank used for Brawl (aka "Devastator") was a recycled prop originally built for the movie xXx: State of the Union, while the mine protected vehicle used for Bonecrusher caught the filmmakers' attention because of a giant photoshopped fork depicted on the manufacturer's website.[51]
  • Other Decepticon characters featured in an early draft, aside from "Grimlock" (helicopter) and "Soundwave" (portable stereo/Humvee), were Brawl as a Jeep, Frenzy as a Piranha III mortar artillery vehicle, Onslaught as a mobile missile launcher, Octane as a tanker truck, and three jets named Blitzwing, Starscream and Devastator (a cargo plane, a 747 jet and F-16 fighter; the script doesn't say which is which). Instead of having been hiding on Earth for a while, they would have arrived there during the movie after having been summoned by Soundwave.[44] It's possible that the Piranha III later evolved into Stryker/Wreckage.
  • The "evil police car Decepticon" that replaced Prowl took over the "vehicle" portion of the second character originally conceived as Soundwave (which eventually became Frenzy). His vehicle form was originally supposed to be a Ford Crown Victoria, while his working name was "Brawl".[52] Eventually the character ended up as Barricade, with the vehicle mode being changed into a Saleen S281 "Extreme" Mustang, because Ford didn't want one of their cars used as a "villain". Therefore, Barricade sports no "Ford" logos in the movie.[23]
  • Another Decepticon character intended to be in the movie had the working name "Stryker", named after his vehicle mode, a M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle.[53] It's possible that he had evolved from a character named "Frenzy" featured in an early script draft, who would have turned into a Piranha III. The character ultimately never made it into the movie, but Hasbro later turned the design into a toy regardless, named Wreckage.[15]
  • Michael Bay also considered having a Transformers character turn into an aircraft carrier, but eventually scrapped that idea for cost reasons.[54] Orci and Kurtzman included the character in one of their drafts of the script,[55] and artist Tim Flattery created concept art.[56]
  • Working names for the tank Decepticon were "Demolisher"[57] and "Devastator", the latter of which had also been a working name for Blackout at one point. Even though Michael Bay confirmed in May 2006 that this was not the final name,[58] screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman confirmed the final name to be "Brawl" in April 2006,[47] and Hasbro used that name for all their toys based on the movie character, he identifies himself as "Devastator" in a subtitle in the movie itself. According to a fan who attended the Australian press conference, Bay had decided to use that name regardless,[59] while Hasbro considered the name in the movie a "continuity error",[60] and Orci even claimed that he and Kurtzman had pointed out said "error" in the editing room twice.[61]
  • Michael Bay decided to have Bumblebee not turn into a Volkswagen Beetle because he wanted to avoid similarities with Disney's Herbie, the Love Bug.[21] Production Designer Jeff Mann originally suggested using a Dodge Super Bee as Bumblebee's alternate mode,[62] but eventually Bay signed a deal with General Motors that saved him $3 million of his budget, which is why Bumblebee turns into a Chevrolet Camaro in the movie.[21]
  • Ratchet was originally intended to transform into a fire truck rather than a Search & Rescue Hummer. After being changed into a Hummer, he initially still retained a red and white deco, which later served as the inspiration for Hasbro's "Rescue Ratchet" redecos of the movie toys.[63]
  • After designs of Megatron had leaked on the internet, his head design was slightly revised following massive fan complaints.[64]
  • The studio had originally preferred the Transformers not to talk at all throughout the movie, a notion Hasbro heavily contested.[15] Bumblebee still ended up being mute throughout most of the movie, which, according to Orci and Kurtzman, was inspired by Spielberg's E.T. and is supposed to signify that his friendship with Sam transcends words.[16]
  • Most drafts of the script started the movie with Archibald Witwicky's discovery of Megatron. In the actual movie, this scene was moved to a later point, shown as a flashback (actually at two points, split into two parts). IDW's comic adaptation of the movie still has this as the opening scene.
  • Also in one of the early drafts, the original reason for Mikaela's falling out with Trent was not because he wouldn't let his "little bunny" drive his car, but because she refused to let him drive after having drunk beer. Anvilicious much?
  • In an early draft, Lennox and his crew would have defeated Scorponok with a simple grenade, which would have "dissolved him at a molecular level". The air strike would have never happened, and Lennox wouldn't have established contact with the Pentagon until around the time when Sam and Mikaela were apprehended by Sector Seven.[44]
  • In the same draft, Sam had left his grandfather's glasses at school. The Autobots would have distracted a security guard while Sam and Mikaela would have broken into their school. It would have been there that Sam would have learned about Mikaela's criminal past, and the scene would have ended with their arrest by Sector Seven.[44]
  • In some earlier drafts of the script, Optimus Prime was supposed to kill Barricade too after he had finished off Bonecrusher. That scene never made it into the final movie, and Barricade simply disappears with no explanation after Bonecrusher transforms; however, the scene still made it into Alan Dean Foster's novelization of the movie and IDW's comic adaptation.
  • Also in earlier drafts of the script, Megatron was supposed to kill Jazz by consuming his Spark. Again, this is only explicitly confirmed in the novelization and IDW's comic adaptation of the movie, but not in the movie itself.
  • During the rather truncated chase scene between Barricade and Bumblebee (see also "errors" above), Barricade was to deploy some serrated drill-like missiles from his hood and fire them at the fleeing Autobot. Though these weapons were constructed and fitted to one of the Barricade prop vehicles, this scene was ultimately cut, explaining the abrupt shift to night time at the conclusion of the chase. Until artist Sean Haworth uploaded a photo of the weapon prop onto his website, the only official proof of the existence of these weapons was page 12 of IDW Publishing's Movie Adaptation issue 2 and the RadioShack XMODS Evolution Barricade radio control car's weapons and light upgrade kit.
  • In one draft of the script, one of the lead human characters died.[65] We don't know who!

Notes

  • The Autobot computer generated models consisted of 35,592 total pieces, 7,435,478 polygons, 95,247 rig nodes, and 20,258 texture maps. If laid end to end, the pieces would stretch 3.11 miles.
  • For all the robots combined, there are 60,217 pieces of geometry, 123,509,502 polygons, 144,341 rigging nodes, and 34,215 texture maps.[66]
  • The events of the movie span 4–5 days.
  • Within the movie, neither the Autobots nor the Decepticons are referred to as "Transformers".
  • As confirmed in the audio commentary on the movie DVD, director Michael Bay has a brief cameo as an innocent bystander getting flicked against a taxi cab by Megatron.
  • The "[322] days without a safety breach" sign behind Agent Simmons before they bring the cell phone to life relates to a piece of backstory that was cut from the final film. A researcher named James Farr was killed when a robot they brought to life ran amok, causing the damage Glen comments on. The viral marketing campaign gives a date for Farr's death; March 16, 2006. This would chronologically place the primary events of the film as occurring over a 3-day period, January 30February 1, 2007.
  • The two guard dogs that Sam encounters are played by a Belgian Malinois named Ammo and a Rottweiler named Nadine.
  • In an interesting showing of unified marketing, the Japanese dub of the movie uses the English-market character and factions names (e.g., Autobot, Decepticon, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee) rather than the terms previously established in Japanese Transformers continuity (e.g., Cybertron, Destron, Convoy, Bumble). This has subsequently influenced Takara's subsequent dub of Transformers Animated, where (for the most part) they retain the English-market names and factions.
  • In a bit of a shocker, Simon Furman has said he personally isn't a fan of the films, though he believes they're great for what he inaccurately (and worryingly) described as "the intended audience" of young kids.[67]
  • In an unexpected celebrity-related moment, famed multi award-winning British actress Helen Mirren, a Dame Commander of the British Empire, was one of the guests at the June 27, 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival premiere of Transformers. One wonders what she thought of it.[68]
  • Transformers (ahem) "inspired" a direct-to-video movie called Transmorphers. It got a prequel in 2009, starring Bruce Boxleitner, of all people. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
  • Somewhat less embarrassing, Transformers also inspired the 2008 Knight Rider television movie and the short-lived revival/sequel series that followed it.[69] Furthermore, the special effects[70] and the marketing campaign[71] both served as inspirations for the 2008 Iron Man movie.

Foreign names

  • Japanese: Transformers (トランスフォーマー Toransufōmā)
  • Mandarin: Biànxíng Jīngāng (變形金剛, 变形金刚, "Transformers")
  • Russian: Transformery (Трансформеры, "Transformers")

External links

References

  1. How ‘Transformers’ rocked the MTRCB from The Philippine Star
  2. Forbes: "'Transformers' Gears Up For Another $1 Billion Box Office Bounty"
  3. The usual suspects were there, with "Avatar" (21 million downloads) taking top (dis?)honors, and "The Dark Knight" tying for second place with "Transformers" at 19 million downloads apiece.Top 10 most pirated movies, October 14, 2011
  4. The movie had some content cuts to meet the standards of some oppressive regimes quaint "developing world" rating boards.
  5. Transformers received a "14A" rating in British Columbia, but an appeal by the studio successfully reduced it to PG.
  6. Latino Review interview with producer Don Murphy.
  7. Rant by Michael Bay, deleted from his own blog, still mirrored on other sites
  8. Coming Soon announcing the movie.
  9. IGN confirming Rogers as screenwriter.
  10. IGN confirming Kurtzman and Orci as new screenwriters.
  11. John Rogers confirming that Kurtzman and Orci drastically rewrote his script
  12. Michael Bay's audio commentary on the Transformers DVD.
  13. IGN confirming Shia LaBeouf.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Don Murphy at the Canadian TransformersCon.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Hasbro tour report.
  16. 16.0 16.1 MTV.com interview with Kurtzman and Orci.
  17. Wizard Universe article about the production of the movie.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Hasbro and Paramount Partnership Panel" at BotCon 2007.
  19. 19.0 19.1 IESB interview with Ian Bryce and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
  20. Roberto Orci discussing Hasbro's involvement.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Entertainment Weekly interview with Michael Bay.
  22. TFormers interview with Don Murphy.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Edmunds.com article on the vehicles featured in the movie.
  24. TakaraTomy product page for Leader Class Optimus Prime.
  25. BBC reporting on Hasbro quarterly earnings for July 2007.
  26. CNN Money story on Hasbro sales.
  27. Wal-Mart employee Steevy Maximus reporting on sales figures for movie toys.
  28. Air Force Space Command article on the movie.
  29. Latino Review interview with Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel.
  30. First Lieutenant Micheal McNabb reporting his experience of working on the movie.
  31. Wired.com article on the movie.
  32. Allspark thread featuring comparison stills of the theatrical and DVD versions of the movie.
  33. CBS interview with Shia LaBeouf.
  34. IGN interview with Roberto Orci.
  35. Wizard interview with Kurtzman and Orci
  36. Orci once again clearing up the story between Arcee and the motorcycle Lennox uses during the final battle
  37. 38.0 38.1 Roberto Orci confirming various characters originally intended for the movie.
  38. Orci explaining why Prowl is not in the movie
  39. Unformatted script sample from first draft naming the Decepticon helicopter "Vortex" posted by Roberto Orci on Don Murphy's message board
  40. "In our first draft, before we even brought Bay on board, he was named Vortex. Don't remember him going through many other names."—Roberto Orci on the TFW2005 forums, 2008/07/09
  41. "We considered having blackout BE soundwave, so there maybe some overlap conceptually."—Roberto Orci on the Transformers movie forum, 2007/05/19
  42. Post by Don Murphy at his message board.
  43. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 Details from an early script draft summed up here, confirmed as authentic by Roberto Orci here.
  44. "Devastator" concept art at Ben Procter's online portfolio.
  45. "Incinerator" pre-production render at Ben Procter's online portfolio.
  46. 47.0 47.1 Yahoo webcast with Kurtzman and Orci, revealing the final names of the movie characters.
  47. "Boombot" concept art at Ben Procter's online portfolio.
  48. "Soundbyte" head study at Ben Procter's online portfolio.
  49. Roberto Orci confirming that Scorponok replaced Ravage.
  50. Entertainment News International article on the making of the movie.
  51. Early design for Barricade with working name "Brawl" shown during the BotCon 2007 Hasbro Tour.
  52. Unused design for "Stryker", revealed at the BotCon 2007 Hasbro tour.
  53. IGN roundtable with Michael Bay from the Australian press conference.
  54. Roberto Orci confirming that the aircraft carrier was in one of the drafts.
  55. Tim Flattery's concept art for the unused aircraft carrier Transformer: Image 1, image 2.
  56. Wallpaper at Hasbro's website calling Brawl/Devastator "Demolisher".
  57. Michael Bay claiming that the Transformers' names circulating were "aliases".
  58. Australian fan griffin-of-oz reporting from the Australian press conference.
  59. Hasbro Transformers Future Product Unveiling panel at BotCon 2007.
  60. Orci confirming the name "Devastator" to be an "error".
  61. [Edmun Edmunds.com article on the classic Bumblebee Camaro.]
  62. Early designs for Ratchet shown at the BotCon 2007 Hasbro tour.
  63. Don Murphy confirming that Megatron's head design was changed due to fan complaints.
  64. "As far as death, we actually had one of the humans die in TF1 but we ended up cutting it."—Roberto Orci on the TFW2005 forums, 2008/07/18
  65. Robertson, Barbara (2007). Heavy Metal. Computer Graphics, 30(7), 12–17.
  66. Interview at Mindless Ones blog
  67. Helen Mirren at the June 27, 2007 Los Angeles premiere of Transformers;Rebecca Murray, Movies.About.com Guide
  68. Variety article about the then-upcoming 2008 Knight Rider revival
  69. Iron Man Full Production Notes
  70. Brandweek article about the Iron Man marketing campaign.