“I have no idea where the ‘George Clooney is Optimus Prime’ rumour came from, but we’d definitely consider him!” laughs Michael Bay, when Total Film clues him in on the current gossip surrounding Transformers, his live-action outing for the cult ’80s toy series.
So, Clooney could voice the red 18-wheel truck-cum-robot when the currently untitled film starts lensing in December. With The Island almost here, Bay is cracking on with plans to show the battle between the Autobots (yay!) and Decepticons (boo!) for control of Earth. “We haven’t really developed much of the CGI yet, but we’re deep in the script process,” he reveals. “The writers are the guys I worked with on The Island [Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci] and they delivered a real good hook. It’s going to be about a 17-year-old boy who saves all his money to buy his first car and it turns out to be a Transformer. That’s how we’re approaching the human angle. It’s a family movie, a Back To The Future kinda thing.”
The Transformers toys – aliens that can morph into mechanical objects such as cars or guns – spawned a hit cartoon series and a not-bad-at-all animated movie in the ’80s and have huge retro appeal. “Of course it’ll be a franchise,” says Bay. “It’s very ambitious”.