Remember when Steven Spielberg used to produce movies
that felt like Steven Spielberg movies even though he didn't direct them?
Back to the Future, The Goonies and Gremlins,
those were all part of his Amblin' label. Though he traded up for Dreamworks
SKG, his latest hires wanted to bring back the former glory. Transformers
screenwriter Roberto Orci envisioned a Spielberg film, even though Michael
Bay was directing.
Transformers from the Mind of Roberto Orci
"This is something we'd been wanting to talk
to him [about] forever," recalled Orci. "We love the old Amblin
days. The movies that I saw when I was targeted for this age group, when
I was between 11 and 15, Back to the Future, E.T.,
all those kinds of things. So we had literally a conversation about trying
to bring back the old Amblin ethic. In a way, this movie was primarily written
for what we wanted to see, what we thought Spielberg would want to see and
what we though Michael Bay would want to see, hoping that if we succeed
in all three that then the audience would want to see it. It's very much
a mix of Spielberg/Amblin in a way and Bay/modern day action. That's kind
of where it ended up."
Writing the action scenes went as detailed as describing the planes that
crash into the buildings. Post-9/11, trashing any city is sensitive, so
Orci and partner Alex Kurtzman took that into consideration. "The minute
you have anyone trashing a city, you're there. It's part of why we chose
LA because I think people don’t care if anyone in LA gets whacked.
But as we were saying, it was also part of the complicated or the slightly
hopefully nuanced for a giant toy movie aspect of how the military was reacting.
Yes, it crosses our mind and it was obviously open for discussion if it
had been nixed."
Transformers also boasts detailed
comedic scenes. "That was fun but it was also hard. It was the icing
on the cake. Everything else had to be sort of in place before we could
kind of get to that moment. We had to make sure that the structure of the
movie was a solid paradigm that you could hit with a hammer and it wouldn't
fall apart before we fully committed to what the humor could be. But it
was always implicit in the process. It had to be fun."
Keeping the movie fun without being ridiculous was the screenwriter's biggest
struggle. "The hardest balance actually was tone. Honestly, people
are going to come at this thing. It's a cartoon, it's a toy line, it's for
kids. It's not a movie. One of the ethics was trying to make it as realistic
as possible. And yes, it's Transformers and there's a long
history of fun in it so it all had to be fun. Those two, realism and fun,
are complete opposites so the hardest part was walking the line in tone."
Transformers opens to theaters on July 2nd.
For the trailers, clips, posters, stills and movie info, go to the Transformers
Stay tuned for updates.