Four arrested as ‘Transformers’ movie set erupts in brawl
HONG KONG– A dramatic confrontation in Hong Kong between Michael Bay’s film crew and men who wanted money might be better set in a Jackie Chan movie.
The street vendors allegedly became violent when Bay refused to quadruple the payment they would get for the disruption caused by filming for the fourth installment in his “Transformers” film franchise.
“Yes, some drugged up guys were being belligerent asses to my crew for hours in the morning of our first shoot day in Hong Kong,” Bay said in a posting on his website Thursday. “One guy rolled metal carts into some of my actors trying to shake us down for thousands of dollars to not play his loud music or hit us with bricks.”
Bay, 48, is in Hong Kong filming “Transformers: Age of Extinction” starring Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz, which is due in theaters next June.
“Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount,” Bay wrote. “I personally told this man and his friends to forget it. We were not going to let him extort us. He didn’t like that answer.”
The man returned an hour later, “carrying a long air-conditioner unit,” according to Bay. “He walked right up to me and tried to smack my face, but I ducked threw the air unit on the floor and pushed him away.”
Police officers providing security for the production “jumped on him,” Bay said. “But it took seven big guys to subdue him. It was like a zombie in Brad Pitt’s movie ‘World War Z.’ He lifted seven guys up and tried to bite them. He actually bit into one of the guard’s Nike shoe. Insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved.”
Faithful to the over-the-top action and special effects of any Bay production, it ended with an army.
“It took 15 Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with these punks,” Bay said. “In all, four guys were arrested for assaulting the officers.”
A Hong Kong police spokeswoman identified two people arrested as brothers with the surname Mak and ages 27 and 28. She said the men demanded that Bay give them 100,000 Hong Kong dollars, which is about $12,000 in U.S. currency.
The younger Mak brother, who was charged with blackmail and assault on a police officer, was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of his injuries, the spokeswoman said. The older bother, who complained that he was not feeling well, was arrested on a charge of common assault and assaulting a police officer, she said.
Three police officers suffered minor injuries, the spokeswoman said.
While Bay did not acknowledge any injuries in his statement, the police report said the director suffered a facial injury but didn’t go to a hospital.
“After that, we had a great day shooting here in Hong Kong,” Bay said.
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