First and foremost, director Michael Bay and the film crew of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction are fine. But the story first reported by Reuters was true, some criminals from the seedy side of Hong Kong attacked his film set in an attempted extortion plot. Contrary to earlier reports, no bodily harm came to Bay or his staffs, with the exception of a pair of Nike Air Max sneakers (the assailant tried to bite it). What came of it, however, was a lively description by Bay himself, filed with references to the zombie scene on Brad Pitt's World War Z and over a dozen Hong Kong Police Force personnel in full riot gears... Sounds like a future movie script to us already.
Read the complete statement from Michael Bay and Paramount after the jump...
Michael Bay's Statement
Hi, it’s Michael.
Yes, the story is being passed around is not all true! 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. 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.
Every vendor where we shot got paid a fair price for our inconvenience, but he wanted four times that amount. 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. So an hour later he came by my crew as we were shooting, carrying a long air conditioner unit. 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. That’s when the security jumped on him. 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 guards Nike shoe, insane. Thank god it was an Air Max, the bubble popped, but the toe was saved.
Then it took fifteen Hong Kong cops in riot gear to deal with these punks. In all, four guys were arrested for assaulting the officers.
After that, we had a great day shooting here in Hong Kong.
Paramount Pictures' Statement
Director Michael Bay and the cast and crew of "Transformers: Age of Extinction" completed their first day of production in Hong Kong today October 17, 2013, after four and a half months of filming in Arizona, Utah, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Washington state since late May.
Contrary to several erroneous news reports made today, Bay did not get hurt in a fight on set. The production company did have a bizarre encounter with a man (allegedly under the influence of a narcotic substance) who was wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon. The man, who had earlier accosted several other crew members, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air conditioning unit directly at Bay's head. The director ducked and wrested the air conditioner from his attacker, preventing what could have been a serious accident. The company's security team quickly stepped in and subdued the assault. The police, who also scuffled with the assailant and two of his companions, ultimately arrested the three men. No one on the cast or crew was injured and the production immediately resumed filming without further incident.