Arguably one of the most critically derided portions of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was the inclusion of the comedy relief team/Chevy concept cars, The Twins. Famously, the pair was criticized for their (arguably) racist depiction - one that Bay and Co. reportedly further embellished, beyond the original Kurtzman and Orci draft, with gold teeth and other controversial additions. Even the most dedicated Transformers fans would argue that, at the very least, The Twins weren't particularly funny.
As a result, it's no surprise that the Internet exploded when reports began to surface that the pair were back for the next installment of the robots in disguise - Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
While the return of The Twins, aka Skids and Mudflap, has been long-rumored, director Michael Bay has spent the better part of a year debunking any reports that indicated the controversial brothers would return. Given that Bay had admitted, and subsequently rectified, a lot of the mistakes from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in preparation for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, fans and critics alike were prepared to move on.
That is until speculation was reignited when AICN's early review of a Transformers: Dark of the Moon rough-cut hinted (possibly mistakenly) that The Twins (aka "street-smart little robots”) were in fact returning members of the cast:
"Yes, they’re back too, but let’s just say they’re toned down.”
It wasn't long before Bay addressed the slip-up in a post on his official Shoot for the Edit forum - politely debunking the detail (Capone gave the film an over-all favorable review after-all), while standing by his prior position that Skids and Mudflap are not in the film.
"After the internet posting of a nice review by someone who saw Transformers Dark of the Moon, the writer had not been clear on one thing. He misstated that the Twins are in the film. They are not.
So I am offering a $25,000 REWARD to anyone who can find them performing in Transformers 3, on July 1, when the movie opens."
As a result, AICN quickly updated the review with clarification on the scandalous detail:
“Just to [be] 100 percent clear, I’m not referring about the ‘The Twins’ here; they are most definitely not in this film. I’m talking about Wheelie (Tom Kenny, who also voiced Skids in ‘Revenge of the Fallen’) and other similar smaller robots, who act like streetwise teenagers.”
However, Bay's adamant claim that The Twins are not back (coupled with Capone's updated review), still wasn't enough for some fans - who claim that the controversial "streetwise" bots can be seen in the film's latest trailer (at the 0:40 mark) - specifically the last two cars in a line of Autobots.
Check out the image below to see what all the fuss is about (click to enlarge).
While Bay never explicitly denies that the bots in the trailer are The Twins (in alt-mode), he does stand by his prior claim that the two are not in the final film.
"The Twins are not in the movie. You will not find them anywhere. Trailer houses sometimes use shots that are not in the movie! End story I'm done wasting my time this!"
It wouldn't be the first time that the director has spread misinformation about who will, or will not, appear in a Transformers film; however, it'd be crazy for Bay to stir up this controversy again - for the sake of keeping fans guessing about the movie. When Bay denied that Megatron was in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it was in attempt to run damage control on leaked information about the plot - so that moviegoers would still have a few surprises at the theater.
Additionally, it wouldn't be the first time that Bay used very similar vehicles (and even robot models) in the series - as the director essentially reused Blackout's robot mode and MH-53J Pave Low III helicopter design for Grindor (a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter) in the forest scene of Revenge of the Fallen - while the original character's body rested at the bottom of the Laurentian Abyss. Similarly, even though Barricade disappeared at the end of Transformers, the protoform Decepticons (featured in the Egyptian desert battled) bore a similar look to the original character's form.
Obviously these comparisons are not definitive but, considering Bay is making one of the most expensive movies of the summer, it stands to reason that he might reuse assets (cars, designs, etc) from prior films. However, given the director's stoic claim the twin bots are not in the film, coupled with Bay's attempts to rectify prior mistakes in this installment, it's safe to say The Twins, specifically, will not be seen in Dark of the Moon.
Maybe we'll see alt-mode Chevy concept cars or other, equally obnoxious "streetwise" robots, but we severely doubt they'll answer to the names, Skids or Mudflap.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick — and let us know whether or not you think The Twins will return.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits regular theaters and IMAX on July 1st, in 2D and 3D.