Michael Bay Says His ‘Armageddon’ Apology was Taken Out of Context [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:24 am,

michael bay news 656x369 Michael Bay Says His Armageddon Apology was Taken Out of Context [Updated]

It’s always interesting to hear filmmakers reflect on their careers, because they often have a very different opinion about their work than the moviegoing public. From Steven Spielberg to Ridley Scott to George Lucas, filmmakers often see mistakes where audiences don’t, and sometimes they wish they could reshoot or reedit portions of their older films.

Now we can add Michael Bay to the list.

Recently, while promoting his new film Pain and Gain, Bay told The Miami Herald how he felt about the 1998 summer blockbuster Armageddon. He admitted several mistakes in the film and went so far as to apologize for them to the Herald, but later said his apology was taken out of context on his official forum. Here’s more of what Bay initially had to say about Armageddon:

“I will apologize for ‘Armageddon,’ because we had to do the whole movie in 16 weeks. It was a massive undertaking. That was not fair to the movie. I would redo the entire third act if I could. But the studio literally took the movie away from us. It was terrible. My visual effects supervisor had a nervous breakdown, so I had to be in charge of that. I called James Cameron and asked ‘What do you do when you’re doing all the effects yourself?’ But the movie did fine.”

And here is Bay’s explanation of his original comments, posted under the thread “I’m Proud of Armageddon” on his official forum:

“One press writer has gone too far in reporting false information. He has printed the bare minimum of my statement which in effect have twisted my words and meaning. I’m not in the slightest going to apologize for the third movie in my movie career, a film called Armageddon. On the red carpet for Pain & Gain some reporters asked me what are you apologizing for, and I said what on earth are you talking about?

What I clearly said to the reporter, is I wish I had more time to edit the film, specifically the the third act. He asked me in effect what would you change if you could in your movies if you could go back. I said, I wish we had a few more weeks in the edit room on Armageddon. And still today Armageddon, is still one of the most shown movies on cable TV. And yes, I’m proud of the movie. Enough said.”

When his first quote came out in the Herald, needless to say, we were a bit surprised that out of all the films he chose to apologize for, he picked one of his most successful. Now, we know he simply wanted more time to polish the film and though some will say it definitely needed polishing, it’s hard to argue with the results. After all, it did go on to make almost half a billion dollars worldwide.

armageddon Michael Bay Says His Armageddon Apology was Taken Out of Context [Updated]

His comments are a reminder that the playing the Hollywood studio game isn’t always easy. With a strict budget and limited time, filmmakers are often handcuffed, making it difficult to achieve the ultimate vision they had in mind at the outset. The best in the business learn to work with limited resources and considering that Armageddon was only Bay’s third feature, it’s hard to knock him for some of the film’s shortcomings.

His comments also show that directors and filmmakers often see their own films in a completely different light than audiences. When you’re as close to your own work for as long as they are, it creates an entirely different perspective. If he had truly wanted to apologize for Armageddon, many would have accepted it, but for many moviegoers, it was simply an entertaining popcorn flick that remains as a bit of a guilty pleasure.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Should Michael Bay be proud of Armageddon? Let us know what you think in the comments.

If you’re still on the fence about seeing Michael Bay’s latest film, Pain and Gain, check out this red-band trailer. The film hits theaters on April 26th, 2013.


Source: The Miami Herald, Official Michael Bay Forums

Follow Daniel Johnson on Twitter @UODanJohnson
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  1. He’s crazy. Armageddon is an amazing and fun popcorn flick. If there are any movies that he needs to apologize for it’s Transformers 2 & 3.

    • Amen.

      • Yep

        • Ditto.

          • Ha for sure!

            • He will ruin TMNT nezt

            • Yup.

    • My thoughts exactly

    • 2nd that motion! it was good!

    • He apologized for Transformers 2.
      Transformers 3 was fine.

    • I liked Transformers 3. 2 was dreadful. I was *this* close to walking out of the theater.

      • No, you weren´t.

      • Has ANYBODY here actually walked out of a movie in protest of a films quality? Premonition with Sandra Bullock was the closest I got, followed by paranormal activity 4. I usually try to sneak a cheeky nap in.

        I really enjoyed transformers 3. Didn’t hate 2 either despite its obvious shortcomings

        • I walked out of The Last Airbender.

        • I’ve walked out of a couple movies, but usually I stay all the way through even with complete garbage, so I can form a valid opinion. I even stayed all the way through Dark of the Moon, when it was awful & felt over-long 2/3 through.

        • I´d never walk out of a movie I´ve paid a sh*tload of money for. Which, today, is pretty much ever movie.

          • Huh? when you walk out of a movie, you go to the box office and get your money back.

        • I was on the verge of walking out on the Psycho remake but nobody else that I was with was hating it as much as I was so I finished.
          The one film I did walk out on was Lady In The Water. M. Night Shama?????? had already worn out his welcome with me after the god awful The Village but I was willing to give it a shot but after about an hour I was done and thankfully so was the person I was with.
          So that’s my only official walkout.
          Now if I were to make a list of movies I fell a sleep while watching at the theater that would be a lot longer. :)

  2. What he should apologize for is taking a big steaming dump on the Transformers mythos. All he had to do was follow the basic story premise and it would have been ten times more awesome than it was.

    • sentiments exactly.

  3. Apology accepted, Mr. Bay. Now I’m waiting for your retirement when you will apologize for your entire career.

  4. Pain and Gain is going to be awesome. Hate the man for whatever reasons, he is profitable. And profit speaks louder than little gold men.

    • Yeah, well… as an audience member who doesn’t receive any share of the revenue, but who has to pay for seeing movies instead, I rather go for quality and enjoyment than profit. I’m strange like that. 😉

      • I’d stop hanging out with the people that hold a gun to your head and force you to watch movies you don’t want to see.

        • And I’d stop aiming snarky comments at people who utter criticism. What you don’t understand is that I used to be a Michael Bay-Fan. I’ve seen every single one of his movies in the theater, starting with Bad Boys in 1996.

          I love his action style, his cinematography and his characters usually were pretty fun, too. All that changed with Transformers 2 (yes, I really like the first one) and got even worse with Transformers 3. Sure the action was as awesome as ever, but all the rest took a really terrible nose dive. I want my old Michael Bay back and I want to thoroughly enjoy his movies again. That’s all.

          • 1995*

          • I just followed in your footsteps ol Winchester. If you don’t like the dirt, then don’t dish it yourself.

            • Two wrongs don’t make a right. I try to avoid doing stuff like that and so can you.

              • But then I wouldn’t be a “leather cheerio” now would I? LOL

                • That’s probably true. 😀

          • Even Bad Boys II?

            That is dedication.

            Misguided but still dedication.

            • Yup. Love that one. Watched it many times. Own it on DVD. Why am I writing in telegraph style. Don’t know. Stop. +++

              • Maybe you’re channeling your inner ‘Rorschach’…

                • Now there’s a scary thought!

          • I’m with you on that (though I wasn’t a huge Pearl Harbour fan).
            I think Bad Boys 3 will be a step in the right direction.

            I loved the first one, but my only real interest in Transformers 4 right now is to see the fancy new digital IMAX 3D cameras in action.

    • Awesome? The film should never have been made in the way it is.

      “Victims outraged by new Mark Wahlberg film’s comedic depiction of macabre killers who dismembered their family”

      “Zsuzsanna Griga told The Miami Herald that the movie’s depiction of the gang as sympathetic bumblers just trying to get ahead is ‘ridiculous.’ Gang members murdered and dismembered her brother and his girlfriend.”

      “They attempted to abduct Schiller about half-dozen times, once disguised as ninjas (which the movie pokes fun at). They finally succeed, snatching Schiller in 1994 outside his deli.

      They kept him at Delgado’s warehouse for a month and tortured him with lighters, a Taser, sleep deprivation and water boarding until he had his wife and children move to Colombia and he signed over his home, a life insurance policy and millions of dollars in investments.”

      How anyone can turn this into a ‘comedy romp’ should be flogged. And this is just barely scraping the surface.

      • Its got me laughing!

  5. In terms of release dates, I think he should start by apologizing for casting a squealling putz in T2 to tell THE TERMINATOR not to kill anybody. He might also lament his strange decision to pretend that his iconic killing machine was a wonderful father figure, and a big old’ softy at heart. (Thumbs up, John! It’ll all be okay!)

    Then he would apologize for Titanic. He took a project of unheard of proportions and ambition and squandered the powerful setting on a cheesy Leo DiCaprio love triangle. The characters and script were dreadful, the ending unsatisfying, and the effect on young women’s psyches irreversable.

    Next, and most importantly of all: Pearl Harbor. While taking pride in, and credit for, the many moments of fine, historically accurate reenactments of the film, he might want to offer veterans everywhere an apology for diluting such a powerful story with a cheesy Ben Affleck love triangle.

    Finally he should apologize for the rushed disaster of a sequel that was Transformers 2. Riding on the good will and expectations of those who enjoyed the first film, he sold us all a film that he knew darn well was a rushed piece of junk. I don’t plan to see his new Marky Mark comedy, but I bet if I did I would want an apology and a refund.

    Armageddon was fun, but Liv Tyler is tiresome. She did well in LOTR, but she isn’t interesting enough to be so overexposed.

    • I think you just mixed 2 directors…

      • HAHAHA I was like, what on earth is this guy talking about? Ha, Michael Bay wishes and dreams that he could direct something like Terminator 2 or Titantic.

        *Titanic, yep I said it, even Titanic is a better movie than anything Bay has directed. Hmm unless he wins 11 Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture for transformers 4, I have my doubts though

        • @Barry.

          Sad thing, he was so affirmative in his post.

          That is what got me!

      • @Leather Cheerio.


        That is like me mistaken my wife for Kate Upton and brining Kate Upton home and calling her dear, sweetey and trying to kiss her! THATS A MISTAKE

        Albeit a damn good one…BUT STILL!

        • A damn good one… yes. But my wife is still hotter lol.

            • You told her about sreenrant? May I remind you the first rule of screenrant?

                • Thanks for reminding me why I’m not married. It’s basically like living with your mom, just with sex (if you’re lucky). 😀

                  • DUDE!

                    I am not sure…but I think I am about to hurl!


                    • Mission accomplished!

                • 1. Correct. Never hide anything.

                  2. Correct. Never withhold information.

                  3. Incorrect. Not in my world at least lol.

                  I may have to put up with a sour puss face for a few minutes… but then I get an apology shortly after. Needless to say, I love my wife and she loves me lol.

                  • So, ya admitting she is always right.


                    • When your wife reads that she’s definitely going to file for divorce!

                      *makes off to a non extradition country*

                • I second this..

      • Actually with his last sentence, I think he might have confused 3 directors?

    • @Josh.

      To set the record straight.

      Titanic, Terminator was directed by James Cameron, not Michael Bay. I mean if you are going to correct a director, make sure you assign blame to the right movies.

    • Wow, this guy hates Michael Bay even when he thinks he’s directed Terminator 2, you must really hate him

  6. People need to try to exercise a little more objectivity when discussing Michael Bay. It would be nice if people could celebrate his successes as well as deride him for his failings.

    Many directors would love to be as skilled at directing action as Michael Bay, just as he is possibly frustrated that his humor and story-craft doesn’t resonate.

    Like or loathe him there are only a handful of film-makers who can deliver action on the SCALE he can.

    I say this with zero biase and as a life-long transformers fan. There are moments in transformers 1 and 3 that are as thrilling as anything I’ve ever seen despite script and story issues.

    Michael Bay is an auteur of spectacle and IS a unique voice.

    The world is now full of people who are literally famous for NO REASON AT ALL. Michael is unarguably a skilled technical director. So maybe we should spare our vitriol? Thoughts?

    • Agreed. He’s a lot like an author. There are a lot of amazing books out there, that when written with 2 minds, are way better than done solo. He might not be the best of both worlds, but then again, not everyone is perfect.

    • I can agree that the man can make really entertaining films (Armageddon, for all its faults and inaccuracies, was very entertaining) but I can’t say he’s even an action auteur when it comes to the Transformer movies, especially 2 and 3. The action was big but it was also choppy and a little messy, and the man completely forgot that characters play just as big a role in entertainment than just the action scenes.

      • Ill agree with what you say about his action being choppy and messy but I felt the same way in regards to The Avengers. Too much going on. Also, its nowhere near as bad as The Bourne series. Those were IMO choppy to make up for Damon’s lack of martial arts skills. I suppose the faster the camera moves, the faster it makes the actor look?

        • Yup agree with you on the Avengers as well, most of the major city battle scene in the climax was just… everyone doing everything at the same time. Were it not for the geek factor of seeing all the characters together, it wouldn’t have been too impressive – in fact it didn’t really impress me at all (stuff like the Iron Man-Loki scene, or the Hulk-Loki scene was better, precisely because it wasn’t just choppy action). I suppose camera movements are supposed to ‘simulate’ action, yes. Bad idea. And with the Transformers, they had too many moving parts – looks cool when they transform, not so much during all the fight scenes.

    • > It would be nice if people could celebrate his successes as well as
      > deride him for his failings.

      I’ve enjoyed a lot of his films: Bad Boys, Armageddon, The Rock, The Island.

      Never saw Pearl Harbor, so can’t comment on it.

      Transformers 1 made me feel like a kid again. I don’t know why I didn’t like 2 or 3. Perhaps it’s because the spectacle started to completely overshadow the human characters. Since the human characters were shunted to the background, I couldn’t relate to the movie, and I felt like I was watching a video game. Now, tell me, would you rather watch or play a video game?

      > Michael Bay is an auteur of spectacle and IS a unique voice.

      Bingo. I can’t think of anyone that delivers action the way he does. Was he the first to introduce “shaky cam” to the world? He’s definitely different (in a good way) when compared to Cameron, McTiernan, or Verhoeven. He’s not as good with characters/story when compared to the others, but he can entertain and excite an audience, that’s for sure.

      A lot of recent action directors copy his style. Heck, the Bourne directors copied him. And, there aren’t that many unique action directors left, since they’re a dying breed (maybe Justin Lin?).

      So yes, the guy deserves some credit. Definitely top 10 in my list of action directors. Top 5? Not so sure.

  7. Apologize for Transformers.

    Some promise with the 1st movie, but it quickly descended into chaos in the 2nd and 3rd…

  8. I think he is having a bit of a mid life crisis… Armageddon is one of his few films that doesn’t feel dated..

  9. i like Micheal aby and i love the transformers movies.

  10. Well Id say he should apologize for Pearl Harbor then the Transformers series.

  11. WHAT?
    Armageddon is one of his few good films.
    But if he wants to apologize for his work, then i demand an apology for Pearl Harbor right now! This film is an abomination for all mankind.

    • Except for me. Sorry, l really like that one. It’s as remote from a factual account of the real event as possible and a digrace to those who died and survived that attack, but for some reason the cheesiness and the action just clicks with me. I know, something must be wrong with my brain, but I’m telling the truth. 😀

  12. I guess the moral of the story is that not even Michael Bay has watched The Island. 😐 The director’s cut of Armageddon was worse than the theatrical version, far as I’m concerned. Even so, I never wished for an apology. I’ve enjoyed several of his movies, no harm, no foul.

    • The Island = awesome! Again, sorry. 😉

      • I haven’t seen it in a number of years. I remember thinking at the time that it would be more inline with the likes of Gattaca…so perhaps the fault is mine.

  13. Forget apologizing for ‘Transformers” i want a apology for ”PEARL HARBOR”

    That film was a god damn disgrace, Armageddon was okay.. An Transformers are kids films with really bad actors an dialog.

  14. Just glad this muppet has been kept away from my other childhood memories to be honest, even the ‘Fett Man’ would have gone in the bin if this guy was even making the coffee on the set of Star Wars 7!!

  15. Government: *sigh* Mr. Bay… those are special effects, not ideas….

    Micheal Bay: I’m sorry I don’t know the difference…

    Government: We know you don’t. Get him out of here!

    • That’s in my mind how he pitched TNMT lol (or in Bay’s case; GANT Grown-up Alien Ninja Turtles). After Pearl Harbor i stopped taking this man seriously as a filmmaker.

  16. Hmmm. He should rather apologize for all of his Transformers flicks. Seriously.

  17. Michael Bay is such an ignorant a$$. Seriously, he’s like the successful Uwe Boll.

    • There you go.

  18. That’s a strange film to apologize. He should really apologize for being involved with TMNT and then Transformers.

  19. Now if only we could see some humility on George Lucas’ part and see him apologize for Jar Jar Binks and the Ewoks.

    • Don’t even get me started on THAT one. Why on earth should he have to apologise for anything? For trying his hardest to entertain people of all ages or for creating something nobody here could have possibly thought of?

      It’s a microcosm of God creating the universe and the earth and life. We look to the sky and say ‘thanks God, I really like all the cool stuff you made like love and sex and friendship and all this tasty food…. But waittaminute! My wife’s yelling at me now! Nobody finds me attractive! My best friends stolen my girl!….. There’s a pickle in my cheeseburger!!!! God why did you do that! I wish I was never born and wish you were dead too!”

      Mmmm. Went slightly off topic. Nonetheless.. Star Wars, Indy. You take the rough with the smooth.

      • “God why did you do that! I wish I was never born and wish you were dead too!”

        Oh…my…GOD! What have I DONE! Don’t wish things like that!!!
        (running towards a window while pulling my hair…Crash!!)
        :b 😉 :)

  20. Making the massive Armageddon impossibly in 16 weeks,
    without a visual effects supervisor, and making it a massive
    box office hit to boot, is hardly a record in need of any apology.

    Under such duress this project would likely have died with any other director.
    It says a lot about Michael Bay who is known for getting things done on time
    and on or under budget and despite criticism manages to put people in seats.

  21. Ok, now apologize for Pearl Harbor.

    • For the record and many have gotten it wrong, Bay did not direct Pearl Harbor, James Cameron did.

  22. Call me crazy but I enjoyed it. Still do to this day. *kanye shrug*

  23. Believe it or not my biggest issue with Mr. Bay has nothing to do with the films he’s directed.
    There’s nothing wrong with popcorn blockbusters. As much as I enjoy a good drama, thriller or mystery film there are moments when I just want to turn my brain off for 2hrs and get lost in some dumb mindless action. And for the most part that’s what Bay’s movies provide. Sometimes he succeeds (Transformers 1, Bad Boys 1 & 2) and sometimes he fails (Transformers 2 & 3).
    My issue with Bay is his production house Platinum Dunes.
    The terrible remakes of classic horror franchises that are stripped of everything that made the originals great. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive, I realize that the some of the original films they remake are dated and don’t hold up today. But if you watch them you could feel the hard work and inspiration behind them. The remakes all feel like assembly line movies. Hire a video director, show some boobs, make everything look slick and pretty, release, rinse and repeat…

  24. I actually went on a guilty pleasure nostalgia trip and watched Armageddon last night, specifically to see the asteroid landing. It did surprise me how bad the shuttles looked, but everything about thee actual asteroids and the astronauts on the surface, rogers and such, really look great.

    If Bay should apologize for anything about Armageddon, he should apologize to Russia for the portrayal of their Space Station. And things like that.

  25. Let’s see…Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Bad Boys II and The Island…these are still some of my all time favorites. I could care less how over the top Michael Bay can get. The purpose of a movie ladies and gentlemen, last time I checked, was to entertain. I go to see a Michael Bay movie to be entertained. If I want to go watch an Oscar worthy performance, I’ll go Redbox the latest Kate Winselett film. Just like Tony Scott, Bay makes movies while other directors make films. Take it for what it’s worth. If you do not like him or his movies, then stop your b#tching and DO NOT GO. Plain and simple. Here’s to Pain and Gain!!! :)

  26. I thought Armageddon was great for what it was. Sure it wasn’t perfect but what movie isn’t? I thought Pearl Harbor was a good film aswell despite it’s flaws. Only Transformers film i really didn’t care for the most was ROTF. Transformers:DOTM was better than the 2nd film was. As for TMNT reboot, im thinkin Bay should be prepare to apoligize for that.