By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com July 5, 2011 at 1:34AM
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is sitting pretty at the top of the worldwide box office at the end of the long weekend, having taken a staggering $400 million worldwide in 7 days. But poor Michael Bay can't return to the aircraft carrier that he lives on and get on with planning his next picture, the low-budget crime flick "Pain and Gain" because in an EARTH-SHATTERING CONTROVERSY, Bay has been accused of plagiarism. And true to the director, it's alleged that he's ripped off the one helmer that Michael Bay loves most: Michael Bay!
A viral video has been doing the rounds in the last couple of days that suggests that the freeway chase in the latest "Transformers" borrows a couple of shots from the similar scene in Bay's 2005 sci-fi flop "The Island," with at least two shots of cars being destroyed or flipping over being duplicated. It's pretty clear from the video that Bay has indeed been doubling up (although YouTube detective Jermain Odreman is a video pirate, so deserves no credit whatsoever), leaving only one question: who, in the entire world, gives a shit?
As should be clear from our retrospective last week, we have more than our share of problems with Mr. Bay. But we assume he's gone through the proper channels in clearing the earlier footage (which has been tinkered with), that he's not borrowing from anyone but himself, and frankly, we're kind of impressed by the editorial ingenuity involved in seamlessly inserting the footage from an entirely different picture. Some have suggested a level of dishonesty about the film's 3D, but Bay hass been open about the film not being 100% shot in the format.
IGN suggests that the re-use of footage may have been caused by the on-set accident suffered by Gabriella Cedillo, an extra whose car was hit by an equipment malfunction in a stunt car, causing her to be paralyzed down her left side. Filming was shut down, and it's unclear whether that meant that Bay wasn't able to complete the sequence (or, indeed, if Cedillo was filming the sequence in question), but it's entirely plausible -- although it may have been a simple money-saving technique, or even a brainwave by an editor looking to fill in a missing piece of the sequence. Can we all move on now, please? [via The Hollywood Reporter/everyone]