The Story Behind Megan Fox Leaving Transformers And How Steven Spielberg Got Roped Into The Drama

When we see recasting in major franchise movies, it’s usually for some completely unavoidable reason, like when Michael Gambon took over the role of Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies following the death of Richard Harris. When recasting does happen in a big movie, it’s big news, as was the case when Megan Fox was seemingly fired from the Transformers franchise by director Michael Bay. 

Fox used some inflammatory language to describe the experience of working on a Michael Bay set. The words used were so bad that Bay indicated he had no choice but to fire Fox, indicating the decision wasn’t his, but rather that of producer Steven Spielberg, but that’s not the whole story.

What Megan Fox Said About Michael Bay 

The story begins back in 2009. The second Transformers film, Revenge of the Fallen had been released and would go on to become the fourth highest-grossing movie of the year worldwide, and number two in the U.S., despite not being the best Transformers movie. A third film had already been announced. In September, Megan Fox gave an interview in Wonderland Magazine. She was asked what it was like to work with Michael Bay. 

The actress's comments weren’t kind. While she suggested that she was actually holding back her true feelings, she painted Bay as a directorial tyrant, invoking the name of Hitler as a comparison…

God, I really wish I could go loose on this one. He’s like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is.

Fox’s comments went viral. The use of Hitler’s name specifically was seen as perhaps a step too far. Repercussions would be incoming. Fox would end up not being cast in the third Transformers movie, with the female lead instead played by model, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, current fiancee of Jason Statham, with Fox's character being written out.

What Michael Bay Said Happened Next 

There have been conflicting reports about exactly what happened behind the scenes following Megan Fox’s controversial comments. For her part, Fox claims she is the one who chose not to return for the third film. Considering she clearly didn’t enjoy being directed by Bay, that’s not necessarily impossible.

Of course, the commonly held belief was that Fox had been fired by an irate Michael Bay who didn’t take kindly to what the actress said. In an interview for GQ (via UPI), around the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bay has his own harsh words. He criticized Fox’s work ethic but claimed he didn’t take her comments personally, saying instead that the decision to remove Fox had been made by producer Steven Spielberg. Bay said…

And you know, the Hitler thing. Steven [Spielberg] said, 'Fire her right now.'

It wouldn’t be that shocking if Steven Spielberg, the Jewish director of Schindler's List, took particular exception to using Hitler’s name like that. However, there’s a bit more to the story. 

What Seven Spielberg Actually Said 

Following Michael Bay’s interview in which he laid responsibility for the firing of Fox at Steven Spielberg’s feet, the director and Transformers producer was asked by EW about it. Spielberg denied telling Bay to fire Fox, saying simply…

That’s not true. That didn’t happen.

So exactly what happened here is far from clear. Perhaps Fox’s claim that she left voluntarily is the actual truth. Fox would eventually apologize for making her comments public, though not for the comments themselves. Fox and Bay would reconcile, resulting in the actress being cast in the Bay-produced live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies. 

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