As it turns out, Michael Bay personally selected concepts from GM’s design studio for the new film — a process that allowed him intimate access to some of GM’s most closely guarded plans. And that privilege was granted as a direct result of the trust he built with the company during his first “Transformers” installment.
“With the first movie, there wasn’t a whole lot of dialogue back and forth between Michael Bay and myself,” GM Vice President of Global Design Ed Wellburn told MTV News, reflecting on how GM’s relationship with Bay began. “We were building the concept in secret we didn’t want anyone to know, and he was building the movie in secret. He was looking for something special from us, and we showed him a couple of cars.”
The new Camaro, which Bay used for the Autobot Bumblebee, was one of the first tests of how much he could be trusted.
“I didn’t want to share with him Camaro unless he told me more about the movie,” Wellburn said. “There was a little negotiating, and then there it was.” The success of the Camaro’s appearance, which helped GM by raising awareness of the newly redesigned car, literally opened some big doors for Bay in “Revenge of the Fallen.”
“When it comes to the sequel, it was different because the relationship had built quite a bit,” Wellburn explained. “Michael came to Detroit, and he and I just walked the studios. He was looking for one, maybe two new vehicles. He came here, and he pretty much had it in his head what the sequel would be. I’ll never forget it. One third of the way through the tour he said, ‘I need a notepad. There are just too many designs that we may want to use in the movie.’”
Some models, like the Beat and Trax, which will appear as the Autobots Skids and Mudflap for “Revenge of the Fallen,” even affected how the characters functioned.
“That day that he visited us and walked the halls of the studios, the movie developed and in some ways changed,” he revealed. “[Bay] was inspired by things like the two small cars that maybe could work together in some way. That’s all I can say right now.”
What do you think Wellburn was hinting at when he suggested that Skids and Mudflap might work together in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”? What do you think of Michael Bay’s vehicle choices for the new movie? Sound off in the comment section below!