He may have been the man who led the first three Transformers movies to box office greatness, but Shia LaBeouf is back to slam Michael Bay's franchise and his time alongside those robots in disguise.
Starring in the Transformers movies from 2007-2011, LaBeouf played the heroic Sam Witwicky to help the Autobots take on the Decepticons. However, after Megan Fox departed the series following 2099's Revenge of the Fallen, things seemed to take a turn for the worse. While Dark of the Moon still made money, LaBeouf said something had changed within the franchise and he didn't seem to be enjoying his role as much. So, when Bay brought Age of Extinction to our screens in 2014, fans were left a little confused about where Sam had gone.
There have now been two movies without Sam, and LaBeouf is here to make his feelings clear. Speaking in a candid interview with Esquire, the 31-year-old actor is tearing apart the movies that made him millions by branding them irrelevant:
“My hang-up with those films was that they felt irrelevant. They felt dated as f*ck... You come up on these stories about Easy Rider and Raging Bull and De Niro and Scorsese and Hopper, and you find value in what they do. Meanwhile, you’re chasing energon crystals. It’s very hard to keep doing what you’re doing when you feel like it’s the antithesis of your purpose on this planet.”
Although he does say “Michael [Bay] and Steven [Spielberg] did a lot for me. I’m not going to pooh-pooh those dudes anymore,” Shia's comments are sure to rattle fans of Transformers and the team behind it too. Admittedly, no Transformers movie is exactly Gone With the Wind or Casablanca, but they make no bones about what they offer their viewers. Also, considering that the franchise has pulled in over $4 billion in just five movies, Bay and co. must be doing something right.
While LaBeouf claims he isn't calling out Bay or Spielberg, this isn't the first time he has thrown daggers at the directors. Given his lambasted performance as Mutt Williams in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Shia didn't mince his words when it came to blasting Spielberg. It is a mystery whether Shia is just being Shia or he really does hate his time with Transformers, but they are odd comments to make all these years later. Sure, Transformers movies are churned out on an almost yearly basis and have some pretty shocking Rotten Tomatoes scores, but fans are still paying to see them.
Interestingly, while Shia seems done with Transformers, the storytelling might not quite be done with him. It was only a nod to the origin of the series, but Sam's picture briefly appeared in one scene from 2017's The Last Knight, teasing that at least the franchise still remembers him. Now that Michael Bay is reportedly done directing Transformers movies - and with the future of the franchise seemingly expanding - perhaps someone else could lure Shia back. However, unless Transformers 6 plans on changing the face of cinema, Shia's comments make it pretty unlikely that Sam Witwicky will be returning.
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018