Transformers: The Last Knight producer Ian Bryce puts the controversy to bed, once and for all.
During a recent interview with Empire, Bryce was asked what it was like filming last September at Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the legendary British World War II leader Winston Churchill.
"It was great. We're not the first people to go there by any means," he replied, before addressing the controversy sparked when onlookers noticed that it had been redressed as a Nazi base -- complete with swastika banners. "But our scene did inject a bit of controversy in the press the next day because of the Nazi portion of the scene. I think eventually when people see the film they'll realise that what happened there was the good guys winning against the Nazis. I think eventually all the talk about it being offensive to Winston Churchill's memory, one hopes that Winston might have a little chuckle about it."
It was then pointed out how Nicholas Soames, Churchill's grandson, came to the film's defense. He was especially critical of local newspapers/tabloids using quotes veterans that said Churchill would be turning in his grave at the sight of Blenheim decorated in Nazi propaganda. "They've no idea what my grandfather would have thought!" Soames argued.
"Yeah, I think that's true," Bryce said when asked about Soames' comments, "and certainly we respect everybody's individual opinion, and we have so much respect for veterans. We're probably one of the biggest movie employer of veterans."
Say what you will about Michael Bay, but the director has always had a great relationship with the military, having been allowed the rare honor of filming at the Pentagon and hiring military personnel from all branches to portray extras. So there is no chance he did what he did with ill intentions.
"People were not fortunate enough to read the script, and they don't know Churchill in this movie is a big hero, and Churchill would be smiling about Last Knight," Bay told the BBC in September. "They haven't seen the movie. They don't know the ending, and they don't know how Churchill is a hero in this movie."
The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).
There comes a moment in everyone's life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.
The cast of Transformers: The Last Knight features Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, Isabela Moner as Izabella, Josh Duhamel as Lieutenant Colonel William Lennox, John Turturro as Seymour Simmons, and Tyrese Gibson as Robert Epps, as well as Jerrod Carmichael, Anthony Hopkins. The voice cast includes Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane) as Hound.
Michael Bay, who has directed the previous four installments in the Transformers live-action film franchise, returns to direct the fifth installment. Transformers: The Last Knight was written by a trio of screenwriters: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Ken Nolan.
Transformers: The Last Knight is set for release June 21, 2017.