Studios dangling funding for a smaller, less commercially viable project to a director in hopes said director agrees to direct a big event film for them in return is nothing new. That’s essentially how Universal got Peter Berg to agree to direct “Battleship” for them, by promising money for his Afghanistan War set Navy SEALs film “Lone Survivor”.
Paramount is apparently taking that same approach to get Michael Bay back for “Transformers 4” — by promising funding for Bay’s “Pain and Gain”, a film that definitely isn’t in Bay’s usual wheelhouse, in that there is no explosions, no crazy gunfights, and one presumes, no giant transforming robots in the entire movie. (Presumably, of course.)
Vulture reports that Bay will indeed get the funding for “Pain and Gain”, which he’ll shoot first before jumping back onboard the fourth installment of the popular (and box-office dominating) sci-fi franchise. Which, we’re told, is not going to be a prequel as originally thought, but a continuation of the first three movies. And of course, with Bay back, it’s doubtful the film will go the “gritty and dark” route that was rumored earlier this year.
So what’s this based-on-a-true-story “Pain and Gain” movie all about that Bay wants so badly to make? The plot apparently concerns “a group of dimwitted Miami bodybuilders who kidnapped, tortured and robbed a Florida businessman but got their comeuppance when their left-for-dead victim hires a private eye to hunt them down.”
Wow. Talk about anti-Bay. I could see Steven Soderbergh making a movie like that, though. But Bay? Not so much. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is apparently in talks for one of the roles, with Mark Wahlberg originally in play, but no longer. Too bad, because I could definitely see those two playing gym rat meatheads.
Then again, he is Michael Bay, and he’s awesome, so who am I to doubt him.