9. Bay Gets Busier - And Bigger
In September 2007, Paramount, hungry to keep the Transformers momentum moving, announced that a follow-up film would launch in 2009.
Michael Bay initially said that he might not return for the second outing, or that he’d try to squeeze in a smaller film between the two movies.
But he agreed to come back because, as he says, “You have your baby and you don't want someone else to take it.” Oh, and because the studio backed the Optimus Prime truck up to his office loaded with money.
Also hesitant to return – though more because they were legitimately busy – the original's screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman declined to return, but the studio execs wooed them back after interviewing other writers.
The Ring writer Ehren Kruger was recruited to share the writing load, partly because he’s an old mucker of the other keyboard bashers and partly because he’s a big Transformers nerd.
After the writers’ strike scuppered script development, the three bashed out a treatment that Bay began to develop.
Once the union battle was over, Bay responded by locking his writers in two hotel rooms and having them crank out drafts.
The new story would up the robot count (around 42 according to the released pics, though ILM’s Scott Farrar says the number is closer to 60) and planned to spread the focus between robots and humans more evenly.
Shooting began in May last year under the same code name as the original – Prime Directive (doubly ironic given Orci and Kurtzman’s involvement in the Star Trek reboot).
And soon, it was teaser/trailer time again…
Next: Revenge Is Coming...