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Michael Bay was disappointed with the climactic fight with Optimus Prime and the Fallen, because he had to scale it down due to running time purposes.
Optimus Prime's death is something of a series trademark. Starting from The Transformers: The Movie, almost every Transformers series has featured Optimus Prime (or his equivalent in Beast Wars: Transformers) dying, only to be resurrected some time later.
Despite being referred to by name, and helping bring Optimus Prime back to life, Jolt doesn't have a single line of dialogue.
When Sam enters the dormitory, the website that is mentioned by his room mate, therealeffingdeal.com, actually takes you to the official site of Transformers 4.
Beetlejuice was offered a voice acting role and met with Michael Bay. But the meeting did not go well and Beetlejuice angrily turned the role down.
According to writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the appearance of the Fallen was meant to lead into the arrival of the Fallen's master, the planet-devouring Transformer Unicron, in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. When they turned down the third film, however, that plotline was scrapped.
The Decepticon that transforms into a Volvo excavator (referred by the Doctor as "ze little one" in the film) is called Scrapmetal.
From the roster of Transformers in this film, Michael Bay's favorite Transformers are the Twins, Shia LaBeouf likes Scalpel, and Megan Fox prefers Devastator.
Long Haul's robot mode was designed by graphic artist Josh Nizzi. It was intended as fan art, but Michael Bay was so impressed when saw the design he hired Nizzi to work on the film. Nizzi went on to design the robot modes for Megatron, Jetfire, and Jet Optimus.
Released on the 25th anniversary of The Transformers.
As of 2011, this film holds the record for the highest number of paid product placements, 47.
During the beginning NEST scene when you see the British flag patch on the shoulder of Captain Graham (Matthew Marsden), the patch right under it says "If I tell you, I have to kill you".
The Forest Battle was filmed on Native American land in New Mexico. The filmmakers were permitted to destroy 12 real trees, and in return they planted 6,000 new trees. Michael Bay says on the director's commentary that being an animal lover, setting off explosives in a real forest was one of the more uncomfortable action scenes for him to direct.
During Operation Firestorm, the Twins grab onto a pipe. For a moment, a newspaper blows onto the pipe, on which a headline ("...STERIOUS ROBOT SIGHTED") and an image of a robot can be seen. The image is of the Decepticon Shockwave, who is seen in his The Transformers appearance. It also hints at his arrival in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
The freighter the Constructicons hide out on is named "Bayos." This is a joke on Michael Bay's action sequences, which are filled with as much chaos and mayhem as possible, that they have been christened "Bayos" and "Bayhem".
Jetfire rants about how his father was a wheel, and did not transform at all. He is possibly alluding to the Autobot Scrounge, who appeared in the "Transformers" comics and whose alternate mode was a wheel.
Optimus Prime was originally going to appear with his iconic truck trailer, and would have combined with it as well; however changes to the script caused this concept to be scrapped. He finally got his trailer in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Peter Cullen, the original and film voice of Optimus Prime, was originally going to appear in this film as Prime's hologram, but this had to be cut out of the film. The movie comic 'Transformers: Alliance' (#1) features this event occurring.
Anthony Anderson, who played Glen Whitman in Transformers, was considered to voice the Autobot Jolt.
The transformation sound from The Transformers can be heard when the Microcons fuse together to form Reedman at the NEST base.
Bumblebee continues to use his radio to communicate, even though at the end of Transformers he was able to speak briefly. The writers liked Bumblebee's radio ability and wanted to use it again, so the movie comic ''Transformers: Alliance' (#3) explains that Bumblebee's voice processor was damaged again in a battle with Starscream.
The animators designed Devastator's first appearance as "a scary transformation, where things are slamming together and getting pulled around. All seven vehicles shove themselves together and click into place as he grows into this giant, scary dude."
The photos of Seekers are a Ford Model T automobile, a B-24 "Liberator" bomber, an F-104 "Starfighter" jet, an "Albatross" D III biplane (Ransack, who appears only in the movie novelization), and an SR-71 "Blackbird" jet (Jetfire). These photos allude to the "Transformers: Evolutions" comics, where the Transformers awoke in the 1800-1900s and took the form of locomotives, steamboats, zeppelins, and other turn-of-the-century vehicles.
In The Transformers, the Seekers were Decepticons who took the form of jets. In this film, the Seekers are a special class of Transformers who explored the galaxy.
The interior design of the Nemesis was based on photographs of sawed-open bones, including marrow and vessels.
The Decepticon Scalpel (described in the film as the Doctor) takes the alternate mode of a lensmeter, a device used by optometrists to check the various aspects of a prescription lens for eyeglasses (his toy gave him a different alternate mode: a microscope, in tribute to the The Transformers Autobot Perceptor). His bug-like design and sadistic attitude were based on Tarantulas, the twisted Predacon scientist from Beast Wars: Transformers.
NEST is the alliance between the humans and the Autobots. It has different meanings: "Networked Elements: Supporters and Transformers," "Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Team," and "Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty." It could also refer to Earth being a nest (refuge) for the Autobots. There is also a real-life NEST agency: The Nuclear Emergency Support Team.
Rachael Taylor who starred as the Australian Maggie Madsen in Transformers turned down a chance to reprise her role.
Over 1.25 million feet of film were shot.
White Sands Missile Range doubled for Qatar in Transformers, and for Egypt in this one. This military installation is unique in that every weapon in the US Army arsenal can be fired within its borders.
Michael Bay's pet dog Bonecrusher, adopted during the making of Transformers, can be seen at Mikaela's house.
The Shanghai Skirmish, set in China, was shot at the Bethlehem Steel site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and in Long Beach, California.
According to the ILM animators, Devastator is made of 52,632 pieces (more than 10 times the number of individual parts in an ordinary car), 11,716,127 polygons, and 6,467 textures, and took up 32 gigabytes of computer space. If his components were laid end-to-end they would stretch 13.84 miles. All the gold ever mined in human history could build a little more than half of it.
A single IMAX shot (df250) would take almost 3 years to render on a top-of-the-line home PC running nonstop. If the entire movie was rendered on a modern home PC, it would take 16,000 years to complete.
In The Transformers the Constructicons transformed into construction vehicles, and could combine into the giant robot Devastator. In this film, there are two fleets of Constructicons: one fleet combines to become Devastator, the other fleet is disguised individual robots. Devastator was made a separate entity because it was not possible for the VFXperts, with the alien multi-segmented design used on the robots, to effectively design combining Transformers. Hasbro faced a very similar situation; they had to release the Constructicons and Devastator in two sets.
Megan Fox had lost weight before shooting, so Michael Bay prescribed a "cake diet" for her to follow. Within three weeks, Fox gained 10 pounds.
It took 140 terabytes to process the CGI for all the robots in this film.
The massive air strike in Operation Firestorm was caused by a 1,000-gallon gasoline bomb. Special effects supervisor John Frazier spent seven months setting it up, longer than it took to shoot the whole film. The bomb made the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest bomb ever filmed with actors close by.
Steve Jablonsky brought in his mentor Hans Zimmer and the rock band 'Linkin Park' to assist in composing the musical score. The trio collaborated on making a musical score set to the band's song "New Divide."
Megan Fox cannot ride a motorcycle, so when she shot her riding scenes someone had to push her so that she could get a good start, and when shooting ended someone was always on hand to catch her bike.
When filming the Operation Firestorm scene where Leo rescues Simmons from Devastator's vortex Ramon Rodriguez endured artificially-generated 100-mph winds, which clogged his eyes with sand and dislocated his shoulder. It took him 45 minutes to clear his eyes.
Attending a preview of the film, Steven Spielberg is reported to have said upon seeing Devastator in Operation Firestorm, "That is fucking awesome!" Michael Bay was proud of the fact that he could make the normally well-mannered Spielberg swear.
The filmmakers polled Transformers fans to decide which robots to cast in the film. The most popular robots were Soundwave (20% of the vote), the Constructicons and Dinobots (tied with 16%), Jetfire (11%), Ultra Magnus and Shockwave (tied with 9%).
John Turturro offered to voice Jetfire because he thought it would be a fun role.
Ravage's first scene shows him leaping over the Diego Garcia beach. This scene is based on the famous image of a leaping Ravage that appeared as his original packaging art, was used repeatedly in the Marvel Comic, and is copied in coloring and story books.
While rendering Devastator, one ILM animator's computer reportedly overheated, and its internal circuitry melted.
The Hasbro and Takara Toy Company, who own the "Transformers" toy line, recommended that the film feature combining robots.
The Fallen's face resembles the Decepticon insignia, with an Egyptian crown attached. He also has red magma lines running across his body, a reference to his original aflame appearance in the comics. His features also resemble the multi-faced Quintessons, the god-like bio-mechanical creators of the The Transformers.
Michael Bay wanted Amaury Nolasco to reprise his role as Jorge Figueroa, but Nolasco was unavailable due to schedule conflicts with other films.
Originally there was going to be a massive army of Insecticons (a The Transformers faction of insectoid Decepticons) that would merge to form the Hive, (inspired by the Swarm from the 1980s "Transformers" comics). This was changed as it would have been too expensive, and not as spectacular as the combiner Devastator; in the end, only one Insecticon appears, seen tracking down Sam and Mikaela in Operation Firestorm. The concept was not scrapped though but evolved into the Microcons-Reedman sequence.
The film shot for 4 days in Jordan, at Petra, Wadi Rum and Salt. The Jordanian royal family, who loved Transformers, provided the Royal Jordanian Air Force for assistance.
The film shot in Egypt for 3 days, primarily at the Giza pyramid complex and Luxor. According to Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the shoot was highly secretive: "A crew of 150 Americans and several dozen local Egyptians ensured a remarkably smooth shoot."
Egyptian government official and archaeologist Zahi Hawass, who loved Transformers, got a personal promise from Michael Bay not to destroy buildings during filming before he granted permission to shoot in Egypt.
The Decepticon Barricade, seen in the first film, was going to reappear in Shanghai as the Audi R8 automobile, but the Hasbro Company vetoed that idea in favor of the Audi being a new Decepticon, so he was renamed Sideways.
The Autobot Jolt's alternate mode in this film is a Chevrolet Volt, a new vehicle designed by General Motors. The car company wanted to promote their new vehicle, but the writers had been dazzled by the Volt, and wanted it in the film anyway.
The Decepticon Demolishor's alternate mode is a Terex O&K; RH-400 Hydraulic Mining Excavator, considered to be the largest hydraulic excavator in the world.
Wheelie was originally an Autobot Cybertronian car in The Transformers: The Movie, but this was revised to a Decepticon radio-controlled truck. His overall personality, a fast-talking, street-smart spy on wheels, is based on the Maximal Rattrap from Beast Machines: Transformers: in a joke and homage, Wheelie gets his foot caught in a mousetrap.
The Shanghai Skirmish was planned to shoot in Japan, in homage to the original birthplace of the Transformers, but the filmmakers thought it was too Godzilla-like.
Near the end of filming, Shia LaBeouf hit a prop and injured his eye. His injury required seven stitches, and the doctor literally held up a thumb and forefinger and said "Blindness." LaBeouf said it was the most insane experience he'd been through, but he resumed filming two hours later.
The college scenes were shot at both the University of Pennsylvania and the Princeton University. Neither school is named in the film, however, as both schools felt that the Judy Witwicky scenes were damaging to their image.
From the voice actors in this film, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker and Charles Adler were in the original The Transformers series, while Tom Kenny and Kevin Michael Richardson were in (as of 2009) the most recent feature Transformers: Animated and Tony Todd would go on to star in the next series Transformers Prime.
Ravage's alternate mode in The Transformers was a tape cassette, but that was considered old-fashioned. He retains his robotic panther form throughout the film.
The Autobot that transformed into a Chevrolet Corvette (Centennial Concept) sportscar was originally called Hot Rod, but he was later renamed Sideswipe. He is also inspired by the Autobot Drift, who transforms from a sportscar, wields blades in battle, and has a similar headcrest.
The Forest Battle and Operation Firestorm were shot with IMAX cameras. Because of the increased resolution, it took ILM animators 72 hours to render one frame of those scenes.
John Turturro was allowed to climb the pyramids during filming in Egypt. At one point, he simply broke down crying. When Michael Bay questioned him, he said, "You just don't get to do this in movies. You don't get to shoot in a place that's 4000 years old."
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman chose the Fallen as the film's primary antagonist because they felt he was the most elemental villain (he was originally seen in the "Transformer" comics as an apocalyptic god-like robot) and would make a fine master for Megatron.
The Decepticon Soundwave was originally meant to appear in the first film, but could not be properly reworked. He was a helicopter, but that was rewritten as Blackout; he then became a radio, then that was rewritten as Frenzy. His alternate mode in this film is a satellite, which fits his role as a communications officer.
The Autobot Arcee was originally meant to appear in the first film, but was replaced with Ironhide because the writers thought robot genders would be difficult to explain. Afterward, they decided to include Arcee to please fans, and ignore the gender issue. Arcee's alternate mode was felt to be too small for her to be an effective warrior, so she got two partners, Chromia and Elita-1.
On July 27, 2008, Shia LaBeouf and Isabel Lucas were in a car crash. One of LaBeouf's hands required surgery. Production was only delayed 2 days; Michael Bay filmed second unit scenes, and LaBeouf recovered a few weeks earlier than expected. Bay wanted the hand injury to be written into the story, but Roberto Orci said rewrites were done to protect his hand for the remainder of the shoot.
According to Roberto Orci, Jonah Hill was offered the part of Leo Spitz, and even received a copy of the script, but negotiations fell through.
Shooting started the day after Transformers won the MTV Movie Award for Best Movie.
The most popular pre-release rumour about the second Transformers movie was that it would revolve around the Dinobots, unintelligent Autobots who transform from humanoid robots to robots shaped like dinosaurs.
The Decepticon Alice is classified as a Pretender, a robot that maintains a bio-organic shell. Very few transformers have that ability.